Ampalaya

Nothing grows in
This room but
Debts
Swallows of beer
And stretches of
Time bending both ways

Stretched out
Waiting for the
Darkness to cover
Makati

And the elevator
Defies gravity

Sometimes
Failing

And we climb
The walls with our
Eyes as houseflies
Scale impossibilities

And she came
And spoke about
The ampalaya that
Her Lola grows

And things started
Growing in the
Room

And her tongue
Tells ampalaya
Stories

Her ampalaya
Eyes turn the
Soil over in my
Mind

And the fresh
Sweet ampalaya
Grows, its perfume
Leaving traces on
My skin

She speaks of
Slicing the backs of
Fish and filling them
With mountain vegetables

She says she
Doesn’t like her
Ampalaya nose

She says it’s
Ugly

But everything in
This room grows
Since she arrived

In this
Short

Season

(C) 2017 Tony Robles

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