Rooms Within Rooms Within Rooms

In a hutch with sliding
glass doors, shelves displayed

crystal we barely used— serving
plates, footed bowls, a faceted

soup tureen. But over the years,
it became a holdall: a portmanteau

of assorted souvenirs and kitsch,
their faded sentiments crammed

cheek-to-cheek with vials of 
prescription drugs; a wide-

mouthed jar stuffed with receipts.
Of other rooms in that house, 

I remember very little now— only
how crowded they were with plaster 

saints, furniture that had seen 
better days but that they couldn't 

bear to throw away. Sometimes, when I 
look up from these rooms in which I write, 

I think about light from thinly curtained 
windows, a view of hills; the horns 

of jeepneys flying past, their headlights 
crosshatching the bedroom walls. The yard

where we slept in the days and nights
following the earthquake, where we fed

a makeshift stove with old newspapers and
listened to rescue helicopters probing the dark. 

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