“Words,” New Era, Aug. 1997, 25


    Words waving through

    screen doors and past

    country’s boundaries,

    finding the Philippines

    in California, seeing

    missing teeth and words

    that find my smile.

    Words that sounded

    foreign before, when I

    chewed on my tongue

    and wrote down run ons,

    struggling as a shadow

    and ears for eight months.

    Words I only wait

    to use, humor that

    I’ve learned and love,

    remain in my mouth

    so long they get rusty.

    Words break boundaries

    and I’m equipped with

    a chisel.