Poem Hunter
(25 November 1959 - / Albay / Philippines)


take me not
in mid-winter,
only to thaw the frost
of your old bones,
imagining how stallions rear
in the outback,
hooves raised to this august light,

kakaibang liwanag,
kasimputla't kasinglamig
ng hubad na peras.¹

but take me
on a humid afternoon
made for siesta,
when my knees almost ache
from daydreaming of mangoes,
and just right,

at higit sa lahat
mas matamis, makatas
kaysa sa unang halik ng mansanas.²


¹‘alien light,
as pale and cold
as a naked pear'

plucked from my tongue you have wrapped
in a plastic bag with the $3 mango
from woolworths

while i conjured an orchard
from back home—mangoes gold and not for sale, and

²‘above all,
sweeter, more succulent
than the first kiss of the apple.'

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