Scry / Spit

The fire in the sink

moved in what Ma called buntog

a bubble body rolling its way

    towards the drain

Today it’s red

Most days it’s green

    or white / transparent

But I’m unclear about how it got there

This deep blush

    like my brother at 15

      un-wake-up-able from the smoke in his chest

We too often hoard shoes we don’t wear

We tease, wrestle

Rub together lungs for ruins

We burn our father right out of us


Janice Lobo Sapigao is a daughter of Filipina/o immigrants. Her first book, microchips for millions, critiques the Silicon Valley and its exploitation of immigrant women workers (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. 2016). Her second book, like a solid to a shadow, about fatherlessness, grieving, and family lineages is forthcoming from Timeless, Infinite Light in 2017. She is the author of the chapbook toxic city (tinder tender press, 2015). She is a VONA/Voices Fellow and was awarded a Manuel G. Flores Prize, PAWA Scholarship to the Kundiman Poetry Retreat. She is the Associate Editor of TAYO Literary Magazine, and a co-founder of Sunday Jump, an open mic in Los Angeles’s Historic Filipinotown. She earned her M.F.A. in Writing from CalArts, and she has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies with Honors from UC San Diego. If you want, you can learn more at