by Christina Manubag

a fork caught in a grinder–
a fork/a scrape in the womb–
the blade of a sleigh shovel flush against pavement–
a varnish/plaster chipping–
the curl, the calm before–
a sort of un-healing.

the stray push back of a stud earring–
the first drink of the evening–
the foot just out the doorframe, leaving.

perhaps, this is the opposite of healing–
a weeping sore, a chalky pill,
a coughing fit in the passenger car–

you noticed, among a pile of leaves,
a honeybee writhing against the curb–
and there came the chill, a weakness–

a familiar feeling–

not an ending, but a clawing–
you broke a twig off a fallen branch, 
lowered it against the asphalt–
the half-life gripped onto the stem, cracked wings pulsing–

but the roots of the oak tree upended the sidewalk–
the bumper of your sneaker kicked–
frayed laces caught beneath your sole–
why is this what you remember?
only falling, only knowing?

About the author:

Christina Manubag (she/her/hers) is a Chinese-Filipino American poet and artist. Her literary work explores the relationship and conflicts between the interior and exterior worlds, while navigating the intersections between womanhood, race in America, intergenerational trauma, and mental health. Manubag’s poems are heavily influenced by the works of traditional and contemporary American poets, such as Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Elizabeth Bishop, and Maggie Nelson. Manubag graduated from NYU with a B.A. in Linguistics and currently resides in Brooklyn with her cat, Rose.

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