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my mother knows the city she was born in,
my lola knows the places she’s lived.
but there is no one alive to tell us where our family came from—
where in the earth our ancestors’ bodies were forged,
whose magma-fire blood we share
our flame with.

integration and assimilation has spread so far into the philippines
that it’s buried into the soil.
i want to weed out the spaniards in our family tree,
to find the people whose sweat stained the ground my mother sprouted from.
i want to peel back my skin and make a serpent,
bakunawa devouring the moons in anguish for her lost love,
dragon-roar the missing pieces back into place—
knowing there is no use
the pieces are already gone
and the fire has burned so long ago
snuffed out by a blanket of soft daisies
and no amount of anger