—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.