Written by Megan Conley
my mother says i told you / i told you / i told you says it all the time. told you not to cut your hair / not to order fries / not to soil your body it's instinct, the way i counter her, as if pulled by magnets / by poles of the earth / by centromeres driving cells into separation. the scissors are in my hands before i can ask if this is rebellion / if i'm doing this right / if i will ever stop reaching for what my mother is always leaving.
i am nineteen when i first go to the philippines. nineteen / soggy-ankled / thrown into an ocean tagalog an echo down a dead end. lola’s english drowned in manila bay long before i can ask if it is easy the coming back. no one can tell me.