SPECIAL ISSUE: PINAY

poims

Jamie Divina Erickson


Duwende

mother, you were  sick
and small. an anthill
smashed underfoot
as you chased
your sisters, tsinelas
slapping.

your father made you
    get on your knees

and pray. we still
leave figs and holy water
    by the door.

 

 

 

 

mischievous gnomes that live in ant-hills— they can bring good or bad, depending on how they are treated—if you say “tabi tabi po” and leave gifts by your door, you are left alone—


Sigbin

blood
in the
lung to blood

on the tongue.
hold my
nephew

and pass it
along. he
is

infected first. not
mother. not
brother.

they know her
smell too
well.

she sits in the shade of the gazebo
fangs feint in the twilight
we do not sleep.
she waits

to
take him
by his name,

Pulmones,
and christen
him Consumption.





akin to a vampire, sigbin is a blood-sucking creature with a whip-like tail and a nauseating odor—has long ears that it can clap—are known to be pets to the aswang—


Siyokoy

i—


i now have
a fear of
water

a fear of scaling
skin

a fear
of the shared
and sharing

a fear
of what now
lies within  

 

more animal than human—

 

ii—

 

scale
imprinted
skin

green
imprinted
grin

him
imprinted
within

 

brown & green water creature—

 

iii—

 

fear
imprinted
within

 

intelligent & aggressive—

 

i—

a body open
in the road, stretched
to blend

ii—

unfolding
crumpled skin
like clementines

iii—
pull back the flesh
beautiful
like origami

iv—

a piece of paper
stretched open
over eyes

v—
feel the weight
of  their weight

vi—

the quiet, fumbling
traces

always male—


Berberoka

my grandfather was
a fisherman. there is
a boat engine in
the basement.
it is still
working, we think.

allergic to morphine
he watched the men
walk on the ceiling
and out the window.

sometimes
i hear noises
through the crack
in the floor.




lures in victims by sucking up water and surfacing fish—once the victim is entranced by the abundance of fish, the berberoka drowns and devours them—

 

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J. Divina Erickson is a Mestiza poet from the San Francisco Bay Area and an MFA candidate at Mills College in Oakland. She currently spends her limited free time laying around with her cats, hiking, or reading translation theory.