reverse tongue abecedarian

zippered, seeded into tropic mud—bahasa still sings after the body stops.
yellowed years yoke folklore to our bones,
xylographs of defiance. like glissando, bahasa clinks through xylophone teeth.
who bears witness when blood waters the witchgrass.
voyeur, executioner, of the same vertebrae, vibrate with the same violet vices.
unconditional, lidah ibu. unbroken, even when expelled into an urn. my
talisman through two-faced territory. a table where kindred
sit, swapping shrimp-sour psalms, savoring the
refrain of rising sun. resound. rejoice pungency. raw, our rinds
queer into question. the quintessence of voice is to quarrel the quiet
prison of polished, european patois. like prodigal lamb i return to the
orchestra of fevered haggles orbiting the batik market.
nenek veranda-napping after nectarous gossip and nasi pecel. how
mesmerized, we followed adhan into the marble masjid. mutinied invader attempts to
lynch logat. their rope, in our star-laden hands, lace into leis of lotus. lineage, much like a
kettle, boils and kills the venom that curdles kindness. so if they snap our
jeweled jaws, our unkillable joy will be their judge.
imagine our islands as infinite ikat. ikatlah
hati ini ke hati bumi, as our heaven hides below the haunted
gape of god. gift our glow gentle growth. keep
fertile the jambu groves our fathers freed. let us be more than
echo of river’s ebb. an eclipse is the ear to ear smile of the abyss. we
don’t depend on destiny to decipher our dawn, drum our
chorus. coffee-blooded children, we are. wraiths of ceremony, not cemetery
bukalah mata batin. we were born unbridled hymns. every breath
an aphorism against what wants to annihilate us. dan kami menyayi.


and we are no more than bones

Our Archipelago

In the countryside, a platoon of peasants torch a backhoe, / owned by Del Monte, gutting our people’s ancestral land.

I Call From Everywhere to Everywhere:

Friend. To practice one’s true self is to grow brave for consequence. Friend. I am here for honorable acts. Friend. I am sitting at JFK again.