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I send you love—

the politically correct kind,
or the pick your words carefully
and offend no one kind

I send you irreverent love,
love that crosses borders
without a passport

and openly weeps
and uses profanity
and drives fists into concrete
until they bleed.

I send you love
of breached walls
and unprotected lungs
breathing deeply the smoky air
permeated by the miasma
of your grief.

I send you love
of bared feet
walking boldly where shards
of screaming and gunfire
will litter the streets
for years to come.

I send you love
through the gap under the door
that you have locked
to take off your clothes
to inventory your bruises
and draw a map
of the aching world
on your nakedness.

I send you love,
I hope,
at the place you need it most,
the most torn,
the most lost,
the place where the horizon
is all skewed and prayers
are a pile of broken bones.

“dam de fer” by photographer Andrea Aversano

The title was inspired by the title of the essay “Hands over the China Sea” by Agnes Marquez, who in 1999 won a writing competition centered on the friendship between the Philippines and South Korea.


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