An Open Letter #1 By Saquina Karla C. Guiam

An Open Letter #1

I think I’ve lived with silence for too long.
So I spit it out, reach into my own throat
and pull out the murk that told me
to mind my own business.

Here’s the thing: it took me a quarter of a
century to ground myself into the land,
because I unwillingly swallowed darkness and silence
that taught me I was a skeleton with muscle and flesh.

I am more than that: my heritage split me in half,
turned me into a sea and a storm and a mountain range;
Bakunawa gave me jaws and teeth and sharpness,
the moon and the stars gave me a path to follow.

My silence does not mean my consent,
the silence of my people does not mean we offer ourselves
like sacrifices to your minotaur in the labyrinth.

Our silence and our deafness
is the result of the poison
to which the white man has fed you
from almost four centuries ago.

And in this postmodern world
crafted by the hands of bloody money and
bloody fingernails, that same poison turns its eyes
on your own people, your own country.

I give up giving metaphors and dresses
to the slaughter of innocence for the sake
of a political chess game;
what more can be said to a house that claims
to represent the common people
only to turn a blind eye to the wasteland
they have made
as if that was enough
to cleanse every piece of sin on their bodies.

By Saquina Karla C. Guiam

Biography:

Saquina Karla C. Guiam (who goes by her nickname, Saki) is 26 years old and is studying for her MA in Davao City, Philippines. When not studying her assigned readings and writing papers, she makes time to write about many things that interest and fascinate her. She is frequently found on tumblr (@dimasilang) and posts her poetry at her writing blog (@recorder). She is a proud member of Flood Journal, an art and writing collective of People of Color.

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