From a Book of Days

Prompt 1: Take a draft or poem that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Unstitch from what isn’t working. Step away and refocus. Begin again.” Luisa A. Igloria, “A Poetry Prompt a Day: NaPoMo 2016

in the beginning is a list of nations
of the world followed by their capitals:
Afghanistan, Kabul;
Albania, Tirana;
Algeria, Algiers;
Andora, Andorra la Vella
all the way to Yemen, Sanaa;
Yugoslavia, Belgrade;
Zambia, Lusaka;
Zimbabwe, Harare

where others may see in their minds’ eyes
beauty queens in swimsuits with sashes diagonally
draped across their voluptuousness,
in my geography lesson i roll those
countries’ names and capitals in my mouth,
taste them on my tongue like savory
and salted flesh seared to medium rare

thus did my yesterday begin, redolent of burnt wood, crackly paper,
a tinderbox of a building exploding on All Fools’ Day,
thus did our yesterday end with a volley of gunpowder meeting defiant
farmers’ flesh on the dry plains south of my country’s Manila

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