I am this house You don’t repair anymore.
My bones of concrete and metal
Erode with each passing storm.
Water seeps through walls
And paint, they wrinkle like skin
Of the grandmother who once lived.
Sometimes, I can hear her ghost
Walking down my hallway throat.
It has been harder to keep
My ceilings from weeping
With the little girl who
Cries behind the bedroom door.
The dripping on the floorboards
Alerts me like the snap of leather
On a child’s limb. The foot-scrapes
Of a mother depressed and an aunt
Smashing bottles of beer
Ruin the sheen of my floors.
How long will I watch
Every scene over and over?
There is no other comfort
But my roof becoming closer
To the earth during storms.
Please, I know time is finite
And their flesh grows old.
But if You have to choose,
Take me today instead.
By Julienne Maui Castelo Mangawang
Julienne Maui Castelo Mangawang finished BA Asian Studies at the University of Santo Tomas. She is taking up her MA in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines — Diliman. Her poems are published in 聲韻詩刊 Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, ALPAS Journal, Inklette Magazine, and is forthcoming in The Rumpus. Her interests include esoteric practices, Japanese studies, and Jungian archetypes. She likes sleeping but sleeping doesn’t like her. At the moment, she is tending to a garden in Makati, Philippines — anticipating vegetables to be harvested soon and for the hydrangea to be, once again, in full bloom.