Duwamish Land, Seattle
by Nic Masangkay
I. March 2021
It’s a gorgeous night to fall in love.
It’s a perfect moment to redefine “love.”
It’s a memory laid to rest and reborn, loving you.
It’s the soil of my body, caring for my people.
The walls unfurl, asking why I’d ever need to “fall in love,”
When everything I dreamt is here.
My muscular heart:
Strong enough to hold what can never be defined.
The light seeping through cracks in my armor:
Slit epiphanies where we can trust again.
We can have it all.
Under the pink petaled bushes,
Against the silver neighborhood fence,
Heat of our laughter in the chilly start of
spring, South side of the house I’m renting,
Home in the family I’m building,
Dreams that only arise when you let me listen,
New children in the arms of inner children,
I transfigure wind into song for my voice to embrace
you; Tonight, love is just as possible.
Smoking across the street from all the Asian uncles in the neighborhood. Their dreams are my dreams. I watch their young grandkids eyeing my gender from the backyard. Curiosity at my butch pretty: painted nails, self-rolled spliff hanging from a stern frown, bright pink sando with oval sleeveless sideboob, dad cap, short shorts. The lolos smoke on their side of the fence, their porch with a folded stroller by the front door, they sit in lawn chairs and trade paternal gossip. They wave back when I greet them, mutual smoke floating into ancestral sky, smiling because here we are alive another day. I know the titos reminisce about days with straighter spines and tighter skin, I know pride is side-by-side with aged wonder that they did it: a house full of generations. No recognition needed when you’re growing old with everything you hoped. Their children’s children keep running with laughter and collecting memories in their tiny play baskets.
What do I dream of passing on?
Nic Masangkay is a Filipinx, sick and disabled, queer and trans survivor. They are an artist of music, poetry, and multimedia. More at www.nicmasangkay.com.
📸 Featured Image: Photo by Jessie McKenna; photo editing by Emerald team.
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