Atang

Dear father, forgive me the times I forget 
to put out a plate of food and a cup of water
for you. Gifts of food in small portions:

a spoonful of steamed rice, flesh scooped from
the belly of a milkfish. Has our hunger dwindled,
diminished? Sometimes I stand in the middle

of a grocery aisle, lost in a warehouse of choices.
Shouldn't desire also have its own limit, shouldn't it
at some point hold up its hands and say No thank you,

I have no room for dessert? You, who used
to instruct: The nearer the bone, the sweeter
the meat.
You, who pried the still-warm tongue   

out of the roasted pig to place on my newborn one,
and also on each of my daughters' in their time. 
 

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