Where does your mother live?

New Aswang poem:

after Barbara Jane Reyes who stole it from someone else, as well

Where does your mother live?

Between the night’s studded eyelids,

her fist-irises.

Where does your mother live?

In the sage’s unwritten book,

the witch’s catalogue, the crooked finger.

Where does your mother live?

In the libation of

the womb’s steady hand.

Beneath the star,

the tongue, flicking words

against the bearing of crosses.

Where does your mother live?

Behind the shadows of tubes,

the woman’s groan,

the razors across the forehead.

Among the cherubs with formless hands,

mash of nostrils and skin.

Their wings torn and gorgeous.

In the red heaven she greets them.

Where does your mother live?

On the top shelf, above the dining table,

even she cannot resist to cloak

Santo Nino’s with his scarlet gown,

crown him with rubied light.

Where does your mother live?

In my father’s hallucination,

she is the ocean

she calls him crazy, from here.

Where does your mother live?

Along the ocean’s path,

the footfalls of duwende,

her name carved on his front tooth.

Where does your mother live?

In another country,

she sits on the shell of my ear,

translates the monsoon in my mouth.

There is no land to release from fallow.

***

I’m interested in the questioning, the cross-examining of the Aswang.  I think I can create a series of poems surrounding questions, like the one above, and I wonder what the poems might look like without the question inserted in the actual text.  Perhaps the questions will serve as scaffolding for poems, but maybe they won’t?

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