Eileen R. Tabios


I forgot I was a connoisseur of alleys.

I forgot the grandfather who willingly faced a fire, fist trembling at the indifferent sky.

I forgot love is always haggled.

I forgot you were the altar that made me stay.

I forgot you wanted to see her seeing herself…

I forgot, for him, she released milk to orphaned baby birds.

I forgot I yearned for amnesia—

I forgot the joy of eliding the vocabulary found in margins.

I forgot the zoo with retired cages.

I forgot the (fair) air of Vanity.

I forgot the difficulty in dying the world saw me as a humpback.

I forgot the world is never unclad, despite Cezanne’s wish.

I forgot when memory became a colander with generous holes.

I forgot the fair where I learned loud carnies overpower reason.

I forgot she was not the wind. Not then.

I forgot steel will bend to form a heart.

I forgot the waves rolling away from Asia to storm even the Americas.

I forgot the interior, from the beginning, was stone.

I forgot the musk of evenings.

I forgot there are keys to everything, even handcuffs missing their rabbit fur linings.

I forgot the child soldiers.

I forgot other boys like Samuel and Elwin whose bones became transparent.

I Forgot.

I forgot the mysterious Chinese girl who slipped syphilis to Van Gogh.

[ ]

I forgot love stutters over a lifetime.

END TO BEGIN: An Autobiography

I will always remember how, as I sensed the rumble of another train departing, I stood in anticipation of the world you would bring to me, obviating my need to keep on taking the longest way around.

I forgot it need not take more than one person to bring the world to ruin—for my mother, that person was me.

I forgot I began drowning in air.

I forgot the capacity to feel you in the breeze lifting my hair from the shy nape of my neck.

I forgot you dreaming I saw myself seeing myself. Objectively, I saw the obscure flowers of my forgotten birthland: damas de noche, named after a long-haired woman afflicted into paleness by the verb of feel-ing.

I forgot your mouth became a cave stuffed with another woman’s hair.

I forgot you today looking at the same sky of luminous sapphire whose gap from earth she had erased with her singing, and

I forgot releasing breath solely to describe milk transformed by your scent.

I forgot the giftbox was the gift.

I forgot Mohammed welcoming Jews and Christians for they, too, are “People of the Book.”

I forgot magenta does exist in Geneva.

I forgot the fate of clay pigeons.

I forgot curtains.

I forgot Andalusia, where duende also insisted on “living life as if dreaming.”

I forgot my father: Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.

I forgot the angel with rust in his voice teaching, There is no madness. There is only a woman brutishly in love.

I forgot how much I treasured your nightingale blood, infinite ink for composing my our songs.

I forgot Heaven could be … a breath away.

I forgot Poor Persius, whose full name I kept snorting forth as Aulus. Persius. Flaccid.

I forgot how Poetry is unlike the poet: Poetry always knows.

I forgot a coil that previously bowed without much purpose—it began to be lubricated for an intent to revise.

But I will never forget that we walk on the same planet and breathe from the same atmosphere. I will never forget that the same sun shines on us both. Thank you for this legacy: No one is a stranger to me.

I forgot who insisted to you reading this from another continent that rupture is not rupture but a widening of capacity.

[ ]

I forgot my poetry was going to change the world. I forgot my words are healing. I forgot my words are apples infused with cheerful cinnamon. I forgot my words are holy. I forgot my words were going to lift you—all of you!—towards Joy.

Eileen R. Tabios most recently released 147 MILLION ORPHANS (gradient books) and SUN STIGMATA (Marsh Hawk Press, New York, 2014). She blogs at http://eileenverbsbooks.blogspot.com; edits Galatea Resurrects, a popular poetry review journal at http://galatearesurrects.blogspot.com; and curates a number of online projects such as Link In To Poetry, a list of recommended contemporary poetry publications at http://linkedinpoetry.blogspot.com.
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