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