All in by Momo Manalang

by Momo Manalang

Mother                                    you splice my mango mouth in June,

 

                    shed my ripe skin                    in pockets of dawn,

                                                                                  lather

 

this naked tongue                    til’ shrimp paste                                  permeates,

 

                   beckon summer           to sing us                     eighteen thousand miles,

 

         until Pampango harvests                     my name                     from the sampaguita;

 

you, an exhausted ocean         who enlivens such roots,

 

          I learn to arrive            home                                      a child of the sun

 

                                   who serenades             without dry lungs—

 

         Nanay                                      you unravel me like seeds unfurling

 

in diaspora’s garden.

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Momo Manalang is a Filipino-American writer from Miami, Florida. She is currently studying Human Rights at Columbia University in New York, and already has plans of returning to the Philippines to pursue various political endeavors. Between July to January, she will be embarking on a leave of absence to Luzon to participate in community integrations with Filipino activists, assist in an international convening of women leaders, and intern at a reputable research institution for human rights.