Angela Gabrielle Fabunan

Fair Game

I only ever wanted to say mahal in parting, but you could never have

understood how much of an expense love was to me. I only half understand

my mother tongue, only carry half its baggage. Which country is Mother?

Which country caverns me? It only takes language to assimilate—our accent

differing from town to town. Please make your voice heard so they can

understand you. As an exile I have absorbed both my countries; each a nation

of difference. Not the land I love but its people. I am an archipelago and you

are a continent. I am a negative, a minus, a difference. To your positive, to your

addition, to what you are molding this country into. I am just baggage. There

was once a country I resided in, but it was neither here nor there.



“Lyric” is from The Sea That Beckoned (Platypus Press, 2019).