by Vincen Gregory Yu
Like the hand pressed on the mother's chest
forgets it ever knew the cadence of heartbeat
only waiting, cursing the gathering dark
bleached in grey dots on the morning sky
She fumbles for her glasses, earrings, the mirror
eager to escape this fancy anticipation
for a taste of sour, salted rain
the flowing river silently sculpting
statues and sinews on the daughter's face.
there's a storm outside, where there was calm
but here they speak in hushed, wispy tones
careful not to mislead the walls into falling
or fussing over unwashed clothes, or
unmade beds, and the foggy hand mirror
shrunken on the sink, like a seed
unwilling to swallow the rain, or perhaps
the mother's skin, flaking in the absent sun—
this patch of brightness growing cold
tracing smaller and smaller circles.
Vincen Gregory Yu, 21, is currently a 3rd year medical student at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine under the prestigious 7-year Intarmed program. His poetry has appeared internationally in Bacopa Literary Review and Diverse Voices Quarterly. He is also a contributing theater critic for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Photography: adapted from Two Tears, by Zuhair A. Al-Traifi.