consciousness rooting in the heart of autumn

I come from across this ocean, countrysides of Iloilo, mango trees, swimming in rivers I come from Inés, a mananabang who birthed hundreds of babies I come from sweat and humidity, and hot late nights I come from the womb of Hopelina, who birthed my mom Gloria, a premature baby I come from war torn lands I come from survival I come from the Bisayas, Ilokano and languages I don't understand I come from the outskirts of Manila, tall grasses and handmade kites, brown skin cousins, countless titas and titos, aggressive grandmas and kind grandpas I come from a small town in a valley surrounded by lettuce and strawberry fields I come from hands digging in dirt and harvest

from onions, to berries, to asparagus I come from loud sisters climbing over each other and choreographed dances in garages, loud parties and falling asleep to mahjong tiles, yelling ninangs, singing, and laughter

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