To Love as Aswang

By Barbara Jane Reyes b. 1971
With razorblade eyes                       The Filipina is most sincere
With too much water                      And will make a very good wife.

With animal teeth                            The Filipina is a loyal partner,
We sometimes kill                            Deserving of all your love.

With splintered hands                    The Filipina is the total package,
With too much life                           Much more than meets the eye.

With ribcage unlocked                   The Filipina is not for you,
We wither your roots                     If  you cannot handle her claws.

Source: Poetry (May 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2014
 Barbara Jane Reyes


Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, the Philippines, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. She earned a BA in ethnic studies from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA from San Francisco State University. She is the author of the poetry collections Gravities of Center (2003), Poeta en San Francisco (2005), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Diwata (2010).
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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality, Race & Ethnicity, Mythology & Folklore, Ghosts & the Supernatural


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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