By | 1 February 2021

for Heherson Alvarez (16 Oct 1939 – 20 Apr 2020)


n. an identity, referring to the people of the Philippines

n. a doughnut-shaped chocolate-coated biscuit popular in Spain


or have you tasted me?
Not this sweet child of brown
coated with half a thousand year of colony,
but this Filipino
you have tasted,
This sweet skin of brown chocolate
huddled together inside a vending machine.

or have you smelled me?
Not my cologne blossoming a clove
of spice, but had since been perfumed with colony,
but this Filipino
you have smelled,
You smell the biscuit baked from
stolen spices, where it used to be my country.

or are you talking to me?
Not the salt screaming as a rising out of me
while my feet blister bowing asparagus in El Dorado,
but this Filipino
you are talking to,
This halo orbiting around your mouth
with Midas touch on jawbreaker forming as my head.

but why so shocked?
Not that The Baptist’s severed head reminded
me of your severe tongue chewing my umbilical history,
but this Filipino
that had shocked you,
That when you chew the ring until it halves
a moon, underneath the body of brown had a flesh of white.

or have you ever seen me?
Not this body you named after
a King to relieve your future Francoed body,
but this Filipino
you have seen,
a biscuit you have named after
my body, relieving the ghost of Franco’s body.

or do you even know me?
Not this body coated with history
upon history of perfumed colonial drowning,
but this Filipino
you have known ever since,
This body coated with history upon
history of a poison you have since yet to swallow.

or have you touched me?
Not this sharp sandpaper skin that blunted
your swords drawing lines on our sand long ago,
but this Filipino
you have touched,
This smooth coat of brown biscuit grieving
relief to the belly of your Franco-colonized body.

or have I eaten a Filipino before?
Not the Filipino body encased in this plastic casket,
but the Filipino of my body, and yes I have,
I, Filipino of my flesh
on flesh, bone on bone,
I, cannibal of my body, and I will eat
me now, I starve, I eat me now, again I starve.

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