July 14, 2024

is not the shade beneath
the santol tree / is not the
slow burn after the chill / is
not the air from her blow dryer

it is how she holds you
without hands,

the color of / her voice
which feathers your ears
to put you to bed / and
at ease / of the clunking
drawers at midnight

it is the rhythm of / her fingers
over the kaserola whirlpool,
the umami of her pancit molo
doused in saltwater
fragrance / filling your home

and the softness of her eyes
when she looks at you
and she sees / the picture,
the blueprint
that is hers, and she knows

the same way she loves
that she knows every grain
you are / composed of,

and she’d make you the world
that they know / and could
cradle / and give to you
without contestation
without condition

she is your mother
and she is starlight
with the way her rollers
stay / twined
like birds in her hair
in the middle of
a telephone tale
and the magic / found only
in the kitchen she built
her butterfly fingers,
her floral duster,
her sermons over supper,
her altruism,
her rarity

her infinite embrace

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