Somewhere, there is an ocean. Inside that ocean
is my father. Inside my father is another ocean.
And inside it, thousands of yellow butterflies waft,
dancing and swaying in new wind. All of them,
dead and alive like truths. There is no difference.
I have told the cat purring inside my head that
my brain ran out of cat food. Such disobedience,
these thoughts. These images
that are supposed to be mine, and yet my father
isn’t here to tell me to man up,
and talk to real people. My imaginary dad meant
men, who may have real cats. May be as real
as claw. As glint.
Youth is weird and doesn’t have the ocean,
nor butterflies. What youth has is a man who
turns yellow when I touch him, which makes him
outrageous, but oddly mine
and forever evidence. I met a girl at a party
who looked like a kiss and I pitied her. Some people
look like a blowjob and I pity them even more.
If I look closely, the truth is yellow and will
flutter towards the nearest open window overlooking
billboards and other liars. I try to follow it to know
the hardening theory in my body, saying,
you look like a kiss, too,
the kind people throw at birds.
And I am afraid of absence, and I am surrounded
by its lush perimeter. There is a lullaby that only appears
in yellow. I hum it in the dark of a stranger’s neck.
The morning is precise and full of fruit. There is no
ocean here. There has been no ocean for years. The cat
says she saw a yellow butterfly inside an apartment
I have loved so much I have forgotten it.
she sees it everywhere: inside sleeves, inside palms
pretending to be something else, in the middle
of Sta. Mesa, where I met so many people and remembered
no one who wanted to forgive my hands. I love absence
not for what it is, but for what it used to be. How once
it whorled inside my lungs; an engine that thought
no matter what I was going to be loved.
- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones