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  4. dear love, by Barbara Jane Reyes
dear love,

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you dream in the language of dodging bullets and artillery fire.
new, sexy diagnoses have been added to the lexicon on your behalf
(“charlie don’t surf,” has also been added to the lexicon on your behalf).

in this home that is not our home, we have mutually exiled each
other. i walk down your street in the rain, and i do not call you. i
walk in the opposite direction of where i know to find you. that we
do not speak is louder than bombs.
 
there are times that missing you is a matter of procedure. now is
not one of those times. there are times when missing you hurts. so
it comes to this, vying for geography. there is a prayer stuck in my
throat. douse me in gasoline, my love, and strike a match. let’s see
this prayer ignite to high heaven.
 


Barbara Jane Reyes, "Dear Love, p. 92" from Poeta en San Francisco. Copyright © 2005 by Barbara Jane Reyes.  Reprinted by permission of Tinfish Press.
Source: Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005)
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dear love,

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  • 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).

    Her work explores a variety of cultural, historical, and geographical perspectives. In Poeta en San Francisco Reyes employs English, Spanish, and Tagalog to create a devastating portrait of her hometown. Craig Perez noted in a Rain Taxi review that “throughout Poeta, we witness the intersecting trajectories of body, self, culture and city.” In a review for Bluefifth, Nicole Cartwright Denison commented that by “drawing heavily upon inspiration from Filipino creation myths, along with multiple biblical and classical allusions …...

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