Cynthia Buiza


On a night that keeps the neighborhood awake
a tremor tears through the walls
a sigh from someone alone in his bed
stirs a leaf.

No. 8 is rearranging furniture,
careful about the sleeping dog lying on its paws
while the neighbor to the left
snores through the roof over our heads.

No. 6 is dreaming
her legs paddling
in quick successions
fleeing a mighty shark.

Outside, the moon watches
behind the clouds
its stillness send the trees ‘a quiver’
it is so tired of being awake.

Meanwhile, the poet slaves away
firing words like cannons
aimed at the approaching dawn
and a useless gesture called a yawn.

CYNTHIA BUIZA is the Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center. She moved to the United States 15 years ago and is now based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to that, she worked with various international organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Open Society Institute-Burma Education Project in Thailand, and the Jesuit Refugee Service. She earned a Masters in International Affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with a concentration on human security studies. Her poetry and prose have appeared in various anthologies in the Philippines and the U.S. She is also the co-author of Anywhere But War, about the armed conflict and internal displacement in the Indonesian Province of Aceh.

Other works
Home Alone
Blue Thursday

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