Spirit food

“Puráwto ti uwáken, nangísittó diay kannawyen.”
(“The crow will turn white, and the heron turn black.”) ~ Ilocano proverb

You’ve gone ahead, but I know you come back.
I dream of you in a gown of dusky blue,

your lungs two beehives exhaling
a spiral of bees. I dream you

turning from a stove, knotted chives
in your hair, asterisks streaming from

the pepper shaker in one hand. Last night
I found one of your old letters: onion skin,

cursive rendering of that wish not to feel
everything so deeply all the time. I twist

off the lids of dusty mason jars; finally,
taste each fermented sweet the way you always

tried to feed me— one tiny mound at a time,
your fingers hovering over my bird lips.

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