a winged thing carved a hole in my heart.
I didn’t mind, I let it nest there
because it sang a small
defenseless song that lofted
marbles into the air. I wove them
into a tiara I wore on my hair,
not knowing yet how every note
of shimmering blue could drown
eventually in the wood. There is
that moment between two chords,
invisible space between a foreground
and what pounds beneath— and always,
one eternal tear that slides
down the middle of my chest
as the world turns and the sky
fills with the raucous cries of birds.
~ after “Once Upon a Time,” acrylic on canvas, 2016; Ulysses Duterte Jr.