Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry
Issue 2 | Winter 2011

slip through the narrow spaces between the
bangus stand overflowing with gravels of ice
and the bushels of tumbling green bananas
and the meat hanging in flanks, swaying slightly?
I see
that the vendors eye us curiously,
feeling our fidgety ways as they hawk their goods,
my height uncanny despite
hunched-over shoulders—
unflattering blouse to hide my curves.
And the recognition of us Americans like spies
causes a shift in tongue:
They quickly switch
from Pangasinense or Ilocano
into Tagalog,
Taglish, and finally, English
Bili na kayo! Yessss Ma'am, Sir . . .


My mother's watch:
emblem of 1969
20 borrowed bucks secret wedding
two twenty-somethings gawk out the window as they descend
into the mouth of the Big Apple.

The newlyweds
learned to cook gizzards, necks and smelt,
occasionally adobo as a treat.
First TV: a gift carried on his lap from port of entry to Niagara Falls.