In Praise of Renovation
Save the bones to celebrate this earth—we know love as we decay,
chased by flesh that looks for houses to abandon. This means if we’re
poured out on flat terrains like hope and belief, so much the better.
Save the fingernails because they won’t grow anymore, won’t scrape
off the lips in your neck. I want you to have something. Save the sorry
notes, the teeth, a better arrangement till your mouth is filled with me.
If your house’s hard substance, the chosen woods, a skull with hole
for a lover’s eye get burned in seconds, do not cremate me. This is how
desire unveils a scary projection: may you see me, not in spite, but
as the immense peril. Makes you very nervous. Makes you feel alive.
When your frenetic leg slammed my body against the wall, didn’t you
think of a better house? A dwelling our bodies couldn’t tear down
so as not to defeat the purpose of loving in secret. Extent to another
extent to illusion to anything that has a view of the sky for the self
and flowers for the body. This limitation talking about nature, putting
it on the long table of interrogation. We’ve not been given fields of answers
nor been cared for, which puts together what we could easily see: hundreds
of eggs on a nest were broken by acid rain that fell and dissipated on
them. But why are those crownless birds still singing their only song,
rehearsing what makes them good candidates for prophetic extinction?
Are they, like us, with debris and method of renovation on the feet,
wandering through the severity of homeland—not the comprehensive chest
of nature, but what we can identify without it. Then honor our enduring
identification—call this dissent or delirium or danger, but, surely, this has
something we could build our voices upon. Thirst miraculously saying
I killed all of you, I’ve repented so much, Give me something to drink.
An apology like this deserves a river, made viscous by man’s remains,
where you shall find a bent cup, the belly of a pot, my wide-opened mouth.
May deformity bring us a kitchen. May deformity remind us that we can
eat like other animals in this zoo. Am I saying that we are indeed caged?
That our hands are tied even if they’re not? No. I mean somewhere
in our wildness is the urge to be common. Let’s have a romantic dinner
in a restaurant shouldn’t mean Let’s make our own restaurant
in a grayscale room with an open window for the sun to border in dark
reddish light, without people commenting on how weird the sun is.
I get it, the sun sometimes pours out blood, but who are we to be blamed
for something we didn’t make? This is a question that goes back
to the day of creation. The sun behind us, long echoes sketching
a near river with ducks and perhaps blind bears, and I wanted a tree
and you said that’s forbidden here. I still wanted a tree and you asked
Is my seed a tree? I never answered you. I just swallowed what you gave
me generously for I really wanted a tree. Until now I’m waiting for it.
Blessed be this seed inside me. Blessed be this that puts you to my
worship house. Where what’s from you is holy enough not to be present.
Blessed be this present. A double: with and without you. None escapes.
B.B.P. Hosmillo is the founding co-editor of Queer Southeast Asia: A Literary Journal of Transgressive Art and a guest poetry editor at Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Anthologized in Under the Storm: An Anthology of Contemporary Philippine Poetry (2011) and Bettering American Poetry (2016), he is the author of two forthcoming books, The Essential Ruin and Breed Me: a sentence without a subject (AJAR Press, 2016). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Margins (Asian American Writers’ Workshop), Palaver Journal, SAND: Berlin’s English Literary Journal, minor literature[s], Transnational Literature, and elsewhere. He received research fellowships/scholarships from The Japan Foundation, Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, and the Republic of Indonesia.
This poem is not previously published.