One Poem Each Day

This is duty and dissidence, this act.

I etch the pain of a poem in my palm,

I who stay home to stay the hours,

The moments of waiting for hopes to begin,

To finally begin. I get the letter.

It announces my poverty, the state

Of want I beg and see, wanting more

Than ever to begin the poem that is,

The poem that should be. Win or lose,

Heads or tails, the addition comes,

And the misery multiplies in the geometry

Of angled joys, always suspect as each

Day comes to greet me with the silver

Cup, vessel to all the sorrows I know,

The tears I name, testament to all

The tales I title with the telling

Destinies of lines, stanzas, pains.

I write the letter-writer back:

I will come next year after I have claimed

My words from the wild wintry winds.

Aurelio S. Agcaoili


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