Archipelago

The island cracked in two, God’s eyes set on its borders for too long;
The bridge cracked in two, the rain came pouring heavy on the brick;
The boat cracked in two, mast tumbling in the middle of the storm;
Guah-ma’s back cracked in two, the swell of waves leaving her on the shore.

The cross cracked in two, the front end swinging like a compass point;
The grave cracked in two, and none of us remembered guah-kong’s name;
The teapot cracked in two, leaving the scent of jasmine in the house;
The house cracked in two, and mother stayed alone in Chinatown.

The bed cracked in two, uncertain how to hold a daughter’s weight;
The skin cracked in two, incisions made into a stomach’s swell;
The name cracked in two, unsure which language fit onto the form;
The voice cracked in two, the moon a different thing in different tongues.

The phone cracked in two, she heard the dial tone and that was all;
The vein cracked in two, her blood was red like all the other blood;
The chest cracked in two, carrying tremors from her wracking coughs;
The girl cracked in two, one finger pointing west,
the other tracing lines across her heart.

Ethan Chua is a Chinese-Filipino spoken word poet, fiction writer, physics nerd, and occasional shower singer. His work has previously been published in major Philippine newspapers, along with Philippines Graphic, and various online publications. You can read more of his poems at https://medium.com/@ezlc327.

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