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GOING ETHNIC
(25 November 1959 - / Albay / Philippines)

GOING ETHNIC

When I met you,
you even wished to learn
how to laugh in my dialect.

Between the treble of bees
and the deep bass of water buffalos
on tv's ‘World Around Us'.
Between the husk and grain of rice
from an Asian shop.
Between my palms
joined earnestly
in prayer,

you searched for a timbre
so quaint,
you'd have to train your ears
forever, you said.

And when I told you how we village girls
once burst the moon with giggles,
you piped, ‘That must have been
a thrilling sound,
peculiar, ancient
and really cool—

can't you do that again?'

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