i’d like to be tangerine or clementine orange, or the exact shade of mango gone soft and ripe, the heart of it sliced over the sink, juice dripping down to elbow. eaten wholly, unafraid of syrup, unbothered by pulp. i don’t care about matching sets, if my good clothes get wrecked. the first time i wore color with you, we saw the sun, i bore shoulders, freckled. i am growing unafraid of shadows, of walking alongside cars on the street. i will weave in and out, running in front of tricycles, waving at cars refusing to slow. i want to live insatiably. i want to stay hungry with a hankering for what’s to come, anticipate endless baskets of rambutan and santan dew. the best thing i have to my name is breaking open a mangosteen for you, palming and pressing the hull against the table, fracturing the globe into sweet wholeness. if i could have it all, i would drink it in slowly with you. i would savor the rinds and lick the seeds and split my life in two for you. let the pulpy edges ruminate. let us grow saccharine and slow, go gooey at summer’s end.
The body threaded through with wire. The body with a marionette’s precision. Positions without hesitation. Learns to move with resolution, when the situation allows. To ignore the blinking caution. To gallop into occasion, to split the junction. To sew up the seam. To gnaw off the thread. The body maneuvers without detection. Modifies the execution. Bows and bends the wires. The body dances to the rhythm of its rewiring. To the spark of malfunction. To the whirr of its machine mouth. The body learns to take its medicine. Learns to taste sweetness, learns the difference from rot. The body wired through with dead ends. The body moving with instruction. With the learned dependence on recognition. With the frayed thread of devotion. The body awaits the splintered rays of morning. Awaits touch with a marionette’s devotion. Repeats the run without hesitation. And moves without blinking.
Krysta Lee Frost is a mixed race Filipino American poet who halves her life between the Philippines and the United States. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Margins, Entropy, Berkeley Poetry Review, wildness, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines Diliman.