for the family who waits for us
|My dad carries me, my mother walks behind us. My family waves hello.|
What becomes mine are the visits. Each night, when I am lying in my bed in Malate, Metro Manila, and I close my eyes, a thousand faces visit me. They bloom in the dark like smoke billowing in the sky. The faces are sometimes fine line-drawings of light, but mostly they pass before me like clouds. One after the other. Old men with crooked noses. Mothers with full faces and masses of hair. Grandmothers looking like wrinkled like old trees. Little baby faces, eyes closed, mouth open. Faces, only faces. They come to me each night. Remind me I am home. I know them, though I’ve never met them.
This piece was originally published in the anthology, Hanggang sa Muli: Homecoming Stories for the Filipino Soul (Tahanan Books, 2012).