March 2, 2011


Dear Miss Barros,

We have read your poem and regret that we cannot use it.  
Thank you for your interest in our magazine.

                                   Sincerely yours,
                                  The STM Editors
                                   by: Gloria G. Goloy

indeed you are much too serious
for one so young.  Why write of
skulls and excreta and such things
when your world is so beautiful
           at your age.  Still, thanks for
           sending this to us.


A skull among the flowers...,
who had a desk at city hall all to myself
and now a plot of grass grown earth---
I lived in quiet outskirts of the flesh
walked homewards each God’s evening down
not-so-narrow streets, ever homewards.
I did not know---I shunned---the alley-tunnels
of the       , throbbing estero veins where
dead embryos simplified in silence.  I passed them
quickly by, riding homewards,
and shut off all with a white handkerchief.
Railed on to the route-years I watched
each day go through its paces faithfully,
dull wordless days, and watched
each evening’s moon fulfill the calendar’s predictions.
my nights were brief excursions to family resorts
respectable X’s on a well-known map;
Whatever exotic’s I was aware of, and desired,
waited on some supreme promotion.
Hurrying homewards I dreaded most the city’s
intersections, dark-glassed my eyes against all
but the traffic lights.  I saw
not beggar’s hands but dirty nails,
not warmth and softness but enslaving legs.

Grown middle-aged I laughed to see skin cling to skin
in some dark corner of the crowded park
and went home cursing them and pitying.
I did not know my impotence.
Dreaming alone, lulled by the hum of
air-conned suburbia, I’d wake up
mouth gagging with remembered ashes and excreta;
but I thought of death as little as I thought of life
and never understood...I, now
a skull among November’s sudden flowers.


  1. a keen observer of what she was passing by day in and day out.

  2. maraming salamat sa mga komentaryo, sana man lang ay magpakilala ka na...