Three Poems

by Deann Louise C. Nardo


Stations of the Cross

I used to take naps during church.
Stunned by the heat,
neck craned up to watch the bats
flying through holes on the curved ceiling.
Nanay always thought I was looking up in devotion.
She said that one of my distant uncles painted it,
the Manongangelo of St. Christopher's Parish Church.
They flutter from one hole to another
Bounding through the stations of the cross where
Jesus falls for the first time
"Because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world."
Someone once told me that the rumours of bat wings being leathery was bullshit.
That bat wings were soft and velvety,
How they have to be flexible
to soar.
By nature, people revered them.
What they don’t understand is that fear is a godsend;
If they walk to the edge to face it,
daring it,
is its own antidote.

I felt how soft other people's skin were before
I caressed my own.
I marvelled at the curves of her cheek,
"Have mercy on us."
The hair on her arm,
"Have mercy on us."
Her silken lips,
"Have mercy on us."
I wish I could touch it,
Like stroking bat wings.
In a fever dream, 
I imagined us as fuzzy bats flying
from one station to another
Jesus meets his sorrowful mother
"Because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world."
back to
Jesus carries his cross
"Because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world."
We seesaw between,
our wings trembling and palpitating,
supple skins soaring
under the watchful eyes.
We never go further than the crucifixion.
Never get the chance to fly out.

A Kind of Gratitude Prayer

Thank you for,

That “non-verbal, send messages through looks across the room” kind of love

That “peel your fruit for you” kind of love

That “first thing in the morning asking ‘Did you sleep well?’” kind of love

That “do your laundry for you” kind of love

That “gently wiping the dust off your house plants’ leaves” kind of love

That “communion in between the lines” kind of love

That “squeezing the perfect amount of Sriracha on your plate” kind of love

That “poking the belly of your sourdough loaf” kind of love

That “fully charged Hitachi magic wand” kind of love

That “furry belly up, mouth open, cat napping on your lap” kind of love

That “hold me like the ocean, vast body of water molding to all my curves, my rolls, my crevices” kind of love

This “attentive silence” kind of love

That “come as you are, cool breeze from the east” kind of love

That “warm kiss to my own wrist” kind of love

Thank you 
thank you 
thank you 
for this open unfolding,
unwritten kind of love.


paradise is a moving target
such a nuanced phenomenon.
My paradise lacks perfection:
no name, no shame, no time stamp.
Although it shape shifts,
it is palpable
that sublime quality
of a moment.


Writer’s BIO:

Deann Louise C. Nardo is a Pilipinx non-binary femme poet, artist, organizer, and facilitator, living and napping in Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal. A voracious craft pursuer and maker, they work with wood, paper, food, and whatever else you can throw at them. Their practice thrives on the thin line where questions live, where memory, healing, and community are embodied.