Shakira Sison


Your stories died with you.
So now I can no longer ask
how sweet the nectar is
when sucked from the stems
of santan.

Or how feet burn and scald
on the summer-scorched black sand.
Your soles peeled into strips
with ridges, you said,
after you were carried home
by a dark and faceless man.

So I must remember you
with my lips that sip on flowers,
and taste its sugar on my tongue.
I celebrate you by forgetting
my watch, among other things,
when I set out to play in the sun.

And I wear you stem to flower,
and flower to stem, until none,
like a crown to match
the cross your loss
bears weight on everyone.

-Shakiras Sison