SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Beginnings by Momo Manalang

          —for my mother

 

She wore a tongue collapsing between

a native ring and a Westerner’s thunder,

traced her name from a typhoon’s mouth–

its petrichor bearing Haiyan’s accent.

 

She married the maid’s broom,

cleansing boats across the Pacific’s lips

of marine backwash, backwash, backwash;

oceans warbling in English and Pampango.

 

Somewhere in the belly of her province

nanay lit votives, holy in glass sheath.

She was brought to the Americas without

a language to mother, absent of its flame.

 

What remains prophetic of the Immigrant?

Bodies of neighborhoods reimagined,

bodies of borders exposed,

origin melting into colorless waters.


Momo Manalang is a Filipino-American climate resiliency organizer from Miami, Florida. Her interest in social justice advocacy developed after she embarked on a Global Citizen Year India Fellowship in 2015. She was also the Editor-in-Chief of AXIS Creative Arts Magazine, an award-winning literary publication at Miami Dade College North Campus. In Fall 2018, she will be transferring to Columbia University School of General Studies to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Human Rights, with a concentration in Ethnicity and Race Studies.

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