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The Result of an Overabundance of Scenery

 

 
 
 
Rain slaps the metal ceiling of this city as if it wanted inside, as if it weren’t already inside. Over the last few sweetish bites of puto, my cousin tells me that for my next visit to the Philippines, he’ll have destinations lined up, individual pearls linked on pale thread. I chew and think about more time in Baguio, the only place where it occasionally snows. I am tired of trying to avoid phrasing things in terms of precipitation—the soothing cool, its quick and fervent lashings, how it wakes me up at night, exhaling into my ear. A single shell, some epitonium.  The dogs in the streets ignore me. The flesh of a coconut, or, unbroken, its muffled sloshing. I fear I will develop a hunchback from stooping.

 

*

 

I was buying oranges in the market, shuffling through my pesos, when my friend remarked that she had been wondering why all the vendors were speaking English to her, “and then I’m like wait,” she said, and pointed at me. I asked the vendor the price in Tagalog, which is really all I can do, and pulled my hood up over my hair. You see. There is weather in every story. The wet breeze of it slides in through the window and smells of salt and charcoal. The wind’s let up. Roaming around the apartment, my feet are long and narrow, like my father’s. I love my father. I love my mother. So what? Looking for a clean teacup. Dabbing at a spot under the burner. Outside, a huge potted plant has fallen over.
 
 
 

Kimberly Quiogue Andrews is a poet and literary critic. She is also the author of BETWEEN, winner of the 2017 New Women’s Voices Chapbook Prize from Finishing Line Press. Her recent work in various genres appears in Poetry Northwest, The Shallow Ends, The Recluse, the Los Angeles Review of Books, ASAP/J, and elsewhere. She lives in Maryland and teaches at Washington College, and you can find her on Twitter at @kqandrews.