is this even my story to tell —
the one about the father, whose father’s father was katipunero, tenyente koronel,
the one about the father, who did not tell his daughters, revolution in our blood,
the one about the father, so tongue-tied, he dismembered dragonfly wings,
the one about the father, who swallowed his words then swallowed himself,
the one about the father, who punched holes in walls, gaping, unlanguaged,
the one about the father, rewritten by the daughter —
tutubi sa putik, putik taga ilog,
ilog ang totooing pangalan.
Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of Letters to a Young Brown Girl (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2020). She was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is also the author Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books, 2003), Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2010), which received the Global Filipino Literary Award for Poetry, To Love as Aswang (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2015), and Invocation to Daughters (City Lights Publishers, 2017).