the decades of Anigma Morandarte By Eryka Renata

the decades of Anigma Morandarte

anak: the Tagalog word for “my child”. a term of endearment. see also bebeko.

Anigma Morandarte is twenty-four years too old.
in her / white wedding dress / straight faced / with anguish
photographs plastered / at the credenza
my father / sitting on the organ chair / holding Anigma Morandarte / by her waist
she clutches / her pregnant belly / waiting to be torn open / at her womb
they wait patiently / for bebeko / my sister / to be born / too early
the same day / the Savior was born
Anigma Morandarte cries.
instead of myrrh and frankincense / the body of God / gives her / salt

Anigma Morandarte is twenty-eight years too old.
she’s standing / at the stove / of the basement kitchen
it is dark / there’s light / barely peeking through / the iced over window
but maybe everything is dark / when you are three / viewing through eyes / still foggy
Anigma Morandarte coughs / on the dust / she looks over her shoulder
the bird clock / little hand at the cardinal / big hand at the mockingbird
Anigma Morandarte / pulls the bagel out / from the toaster / two dark brown halves
it smells / like cold fire / the basement air /fills my nostrils / with ash
she’s holding a knife / she scrapes butter / from the silver tin
Anigma Morandarte cries.
there is blood on the white / there is a deep gash / cutting through / the diameter of her palm
Anigma Morandarte creams the bread / she is still crying / no sounds / from her mouth.
anak, your bread is ready / she walks to me / sitting on the basement stairs
I love you, bebeko.
i look / at the bread / there is still red / at the circumference
i bite / and i taste / her blood / and its salt.

Anigma Morandarte is thirty-three years too old.
the callous / of her own Mother / sitting on the white tile / of the kitchen
little hand / at the nightingale / big hand / at the owl
two bowls of rice / steaming from / the black pot
anigma morandarte cries.
she forgot / to turn off / the stove / the rice now burnt
her mother / screams at her / youngest child / of her useless soul / her unbirth / too old
Bandit / the family dog / sits on the white tile / with me / eight year old / anak
he is so scared / he pees himself / the floor / wet / yellow
Anigma Morandarte’s Mother / slams the dog / into his urine / rubs his face in it
Fucking dirty animal.
i do my best impression / of anak / and hold him / urine and all
when i press / his ears / to my cheek / i could smell / salt

Anigma Morandarte is thirty-seven years too old.
i cannot / see her / it is / too dark / eyes foggy / the bathroom door / standing between us
Anigma Morandarte hid / all the house keys / in the toilet / far from / anak’s hands
i can imagine / the bird clock / both hands / at the owl
my back / braces against / the bathroom door / my twelve year old hands / clawing at the hinges
mom, please come out, i’m scared, mom, i’m so scared. i hear water / running / farther away
Anigma Morandarte cries.
i sleep / in my sister’s room / the Savior / and we hold our breath
we think Anigma Morandarte could surely be dead by tomorrow morning.
little hand at the cardinal / big hand at the mockingbird / yet she sits / on the living room couch
good morning, bebeko / Anigma Morandarte smiles / there is breakfast on the counter.
i look / and i see / bags of salt

Anigma Morandarte is forty-four years too old.
she is miles away / i almost can’t picture what she looks like / at this time / in this light
the caller id interrupts / Anigma Morandarte / i press her up to my ear / and anak listens
bebeko come home, bebeko I have bread, bebeko I’ll boil you water, my anak I love you, anak,
anak / i’m anak but no other names / anak I need you, anak I’ll die without you / i am crying / no
sounds / from my own mouth / Anigma Morandarte speaks / and i can still taste the salt.

By Eryka Renata


Eryka Renata is a poet from the Chicagoland area. Dedicated to craft and the avant-garde, much of her work borders the experimental while maintaining the realism of everyday life. She believes in the complex combination of art and storytelling, wishing to amplify her voice to offer a unique lens in which she sees the world. Renata is also a student of psychology who dreams to spread a long breath of compassion and empathy wherever she goes.

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