Five Filipino / Filipino American Love Poems

Xocerism 27
Jose Garcia Villa

The love which begins with a tickle, or a smile, or a ling! ling!
—it does not matter which! For Love has begun.

drops o'hearts 

Jon Pineda

After they make love, he slides down so his face rests near her waist. The light by the bed casts its nets that turn into shadows. They both fall asleep. When he wakes, he finds a small patch of birthmarks on her thigh, runs his finger over each island, a speck of light brown bundled with others to form an archipelago on her skin. For him, whose father is from the Philippines, it is the place he has never been, filled with hillsides of rice & fish, different dialects, a family he wants to touch, though something about it all is untouchable, like love, balanced between desire & longing, the way he reaches for her now, his hand pressed near this place that seems so foreign, so much a part of him that for a moment, he cannot help it, he feels whole.

 "The stranger was a woman, at least as tall as a small chair..." 101/365

Danton Remoto

This morning, it is raining
in my country.
Water slides down
the leaves
like tongue on skin.
The sound of their falling
like breath on the lobes
of ears.

You are a continent away.
There, the leaves are beginning
to turn.
Soon, night will steal hours
from day,
and snow will be whirling
in drifts.

But you are here,
in the country
of my mind,
wiping away the maps
of mist
on the window pane,
lying in bed beside me,
as the pulse of the pillows and sheets –
even the very throb of rain –
begin to quicken.


At the Library
Arvin Abejo Mangohig

After you left your seat
I sat on it for hours doing nothing
until closing time
until they turned off all the lights

And even with deadlines
waiting for me,
my research still undone,
I loved the waste of those hours.

Exposed gnarly roots in Fall River Park 


Edith Tiempo

All that I love
I fold over once
And once again
And keep in a box
Or a slit in a hollow post
Or in my shoe.

All that I love?
Why, yes, but for the moment–
And for all time, both.
Something that folds and keeps easy,
Son’s note or Dad’s one gaudy tie,
A roto picture of a young queen,
A blue Indian shawl, even
A money bill.

It’s utter sublimation,
A feat, this heart’s control
Moment to moment
To scale all love down
to a cupped hand’s size

Till seashells are broken pieces
From God’s own bright teeth,
And life and love are real
Things you can run and
Breathless hand over
To the merest child.


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