5/23/2006

Politics of Beauty

Pinch
your nose
tight and high.

Sheild
your skin
from darkening sunrays.

Lift
your feet;
no shuffling steps.

Stretch
your back
tall and lean.

Curve
your tongue
around English words,

flat
words erasing,
taking away skin,

eyes,
almond brown,
hair, midnight sky.

Then
you'll pass
through golden doors,

leave
behind paddies
and plantations ripped

from
jungle hillsides
where kulintang sing

mourning
songs for
darkskinned children begging,

husbandless
mothers turning
tricks, sending daughters

overseas
to broken men
with violent hands,

where
Mebuyan weeps
the dead home.

******

I was going to dedicate this poem to Ver's daughters and mine as well when it occured to me that this poem is really for all the pinays who still believe that by changing their bodies, by being jealous of taller, thinner, paler women, by wishing they were different that who they are physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, that they can somehow undo the violence of colonialism and capitalism inflicted upon them since before birth.

For the silent ones whose beauty shines beneath the layered pain, this poem is given with a pledge that no more shall our daughters suffer from these injustices. So help us.

1 comment:

Sky said...

And may all our daughters learn to see and express their inner beauty as you do through your words.

Thank you. Thank you for speaking your words and for bringing them into our daughter's lives.

~sky