by Kabel Mishka Ligot
At nights my fingers do the travelling, scroll whole avenues on the flat light
that falls on my face from time to time like a stubborn tear. How can I sleep
when those I love are dancing in the crumbling city? Set me right
between them, put my body back in flip-flops on the dirtied floors, steep
my skin in clouds wafting from street-food carts. The names of roads
all blur in the mind’s atlas, but never the smell of late-night noodles, whole
pan de sal broken open to share. Here my body feels riddled with footnotes,
small gaps people carefully prod like stigmata, peer through like peepholes
into a rented room with the softest bed. In the mornings I skim through
these straighter streets, slumber-softened bone hissing at the misplaced sun.
For now, let everything come to me in thirty-second mouthfuls, blue-hued
pictures of friends of friends I’ve yet to meet. Don’t let your sorrow run
out until I taste it. Save me every minor secret you’d otherwise forget. Bring
all your weightiest joys. When we meet, you won’t need to explain anything.
Kabel Mishka Ligot works behind the desk at a high school library. Mishka holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has work published or forthcoming in RHINO, Waxwing, The Margins, The Southeast Review and other journals. He is a Tin House and Indiana University Writers’ Conference alumnus. Born and raised around Metro Manila in the Philippines, Mishka currently lives in the Midwest. kabelmishka.com