TWO POEMS

Kimberly Quiogue Andrews

ISSUE TEN | SPRING 2018

President Trump, thank you for calling, and good evening, it is night over here

Is it too late?

No it’s okay we

 

         don’t sleep much        You are not

a person      at all

 

       I am

the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we

  are

 

     the scourge of

 the Filipino nation

 

                 is the Philippines

 

 nervous about

 

rockets and warheads

there’s no telling

 

            Rodrigo? Are we                               stable or

not stable?

 

           not stable, Mr. President

 

                    a

dangerous toy                                  for

all mankind

 

           the

                    power

 

         has to be

          with    bombs               from the looks of it

 

We have a lot of firepower                 We

                     could 

be crazy

 

Every generation has a mad man—in our generation it’s    you

 

we can

                                 not

 

     remain    peaceful                                   a nuclear blast

             is    good for

       a very good relationship

with            Florida

 

                          actually we are  

                              afraid

 

On another subject                        I guess

 

                         Rodrigo

 

If you want to come to the Oval Office, I will love    you

 

                        come see

me

    Seriously        come over

 

         the

         people of the Philippines

 

                will    remain

                secret

     come see me

 

        Rodrigo

“President Trump, thank you for calling, and good evening, it is night over here” is an erasure of the transcript of the April 29, 2017 call between Donald Trump and the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. As of this writing, Duterte’s war on drug addicts has resulted in over nine thousand extrajudicial killings across the country. 

The More Interesting Story


 

might ostensibly be my white father

in the Philippines       a type of ghost

in that ghosts are scary       and often white

and often representative of past wrongs

 

it’s not any fun       to think of my father this way

he is kind        he is so good to my mother

he brought a sun hat       and swim shorts

and he is frightened really       as opposed

to frightening            the light off of the water

 

the sun with its vengeance       tiny calamansi

in all the drinks       this story seems good

I could use      the ocean’s depth

to say something about clarity and fear et cetera

 

there is deep irony          in the phrase

“to be thrown into relief”

my flip-flops       are full         of a sweaty dust

I too     attract crowds          at the fish market

 

who has written the best analysis         of sympathy

as it relates to kinship       that is     my family

as a lattice crawling with bougainvillea

 

meanwhile the fig tree balanced      on its tiny trunk

in a pot in every Brooklyn apartment        these days

grows huge in the wild                and bears clusters of fruit

 

that could be a shock        in its way

as in oh geez       the thing I had contained

has a great green life          of its own

now I’m the small thing        needing watering

now I’m the rock        becoming sand at the shore    

Kimberly Quiogue Andrews is a poet and literary critic. She is also the author of BETWEEN, winner of the 2017 New Women’s Voices Chapbook Prize from Finishing Line Press. She lives in Maryland and teaches at Washington College, and you can find her on Twitter at @kqandrews.

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