• Marías at Sampaguitas

Poetry by Pamela K. Santos

After Yayoi Kusama’s “Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity” (2009)


Too old to sleep together


Lola leaves me in darkness

she is always meant to


balik bayan balik Biñan B A Y A N B U Y A N

B A H A Y B U H A Y

b a h a y a n b u h a y a n

B A Y A N I B U Y A N I


balik buyani

Way the Fil-Am is supposed to say B A Y A N I

is B u y – a h – k n e e



buyani: fluid n. 🡺 v. 🡺 n. 🡺 v. : to be hero by buying

balik: fluid adj. state of return 🡺 to be home 🡺 to be bahay

: to buy flight cab out of bahay when no one

is home



cannot help not being


Lola’s favorite grandchild


siyempre naman Lola leaves


lamps in house all open


not being her favorite Lola leaves


forgetting


I’m too young to be left behind


in her not-favorite country


I’m too old to be afraid of the dark alone




Pamela K. Santos is a Pinayorker writer and artist-scholar working with multilingual materials and archival embodiment. Pamela has received support from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Oregon Literary Fellowship, Imagining America, Advancing Gender Equity in the Arts, Caldera Arts, Mineral School, and Regional Arts & Culture Council, among others. Her poetry and prose appear in Cultural Weekly, Anomaly, Stoked Words, Tayo Magazine, and elsewhere. She is working on her debut collection Secret Lumpia.

https://twitter.com/pamelaksantos

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