Kimberly Quiogue Andrews

Other Deluges

There are, of course, times in the tropics when you’d think 
            it couldn’t come down any harder and there’s threat 
            in that: drowning, or cracking, or the sick wash and 
            thud of one followed by the other. There exists also 
            a solution into which this precipitates though I am 
            not a chemist, which is obvious. I have lost my book 
            of folktales containing the myth of the lanzones fruit, 
            the woman pinching away its poison for her child. 
            The ants in the kitchen have forced me to store all 
            of my cereal in the refrigerator. The rain continues.

And roofs become radios, the gray noise sweeping every 
            room with a broom made of profound differences. 
            The startle, then the soothe. All cleaning is simply 
            moving something from one place to another. The 
            friend with whom I share my bedroom has done 
            much more work with postcolonial theory than I 
            have and she says “I think it’s important that the Fil- 
            Am community recognizes the insidious effects of 
            decades of hard assimilationism” and I think yes 
            it’s a real bear explaining to my mother why I am 
            here. My mother says why would you want to do that. 

Pushing everything downstream the days pat the place down 
            for contraband, leaving Manila’s streets warmly slick 
            with the grit of passing through in every direction. 
            In stories, people move forward, pushing into their own 
            spaces as happenings or points. Hands are the hardest 
            part of the anatomy to draw because they could look 
            like so many other things, none of them human. Hands 
            are the reason why I do not draw and this typhoon is 
            the reason I am inside placing my forehead gently upon 
            a tall stack of paper. Apps for the sleepless use a similar 
            kind of singly-noted static. Or sometimes a train, which 
            I find baffling because who could possibly fall asleep 
            knowing that a train was coming. I thought the point 
            was to choose from amongst sounds that above all else 
            would not be transient. I thought that all I had to give 
            was a distant ache, like that in the joints before the rain.


Some Mirages of the Heat-Addled

{the beginning of Manila on a map is an ache in the shoulder of the Pacific}

{i’ve always wanted to shine but perhaps not this much, i am a wrong beacon}

{the air fills its bowls, runneth over, runneth away with its attendant utensils}

{slogging through the day i am the servant of my own legs, their carrying capacity}

{and the sky’s density and the sun and the watchtower of mixed parentage}

{itemized, i stand as in front of a mirror for too long, khaki body like a puncture}

{literal swimming in a salty tshirt, shames of cloth oh hello you’re very close}

{dripping is commerce inasmuch as one exchanges drinks with the street}

{coconuts serve as greenish metaphors, hanging as they do usually well out of reach}

{i am not an ad for whitening cream, please remove me from the billboards on the ring roads}

{in the wet shimmer of traffic i hear dimly no, you will proselytize for as long as we wish}


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. Her recent work in various genres appears in Poetry NorthwestThe Shallow EndsThe Recluse, the Los Angeles Review of BooksASAP/J, and elsewhere. She lives in Maryland and teaches at Washington College, and you can find her on Twitter at @kqandrews.