Sarah Gambito



My country untangles its horns

and licks its own agave.




We might meet at a table with fresh grapes, with the top of my head                overflowing.

We speak of quiet things and these things quiet me all the long

         silver way.  

We walk in our own gardens which could be a shared garden.




To be in love and to accept so little of the world.

I knew that someone might govern the mailroom moon.




A teacher once told me to beware

of the first person.

The little girl voice.




Maybe I have many novels, maybe I have many arms.

I had determined that I should have many arms.  

My hair would be sea-green and I would write my myth

in squid ink. It would be inscrutable and mine only

and therefore irrefutable.




I drink cacao with my country.




We are enterprising

in our horsehair embroidered costumes.




I said, what about the MacArthur Memorial

in Virginia, the MacArthur Suite in Manila?

She said that this was under reconstruction.

She was pissed at me for some reason.




I made no effort to control my American accent.

I knew that it would humiliate her. Or, perhaps that is my fantasy.




The many legs, the fathom legs.  My country in many countries

in my dialects and flower flecked vocabularies named for a Spanish king who never visited.




Did King Philip II of Spain visit the Philippines, the country conquered by his country and named after him during his lifetime?








And he said that this is a very GOOD country for me to live at.


Some tourists said that they wanted to return to the Philippines to have a vacation again; while others wanted to live here!


It depends if you like tropical places. Plus, there's a huge mall in the Philippines and lots of Pretty Beaches.






Found In Volume 45, No. 03
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  • Gambito
Sarah Gambito
About the Author


Sarah Gambito is the author of the poetry collections  Delivered (Persea Books) and Matadora (Alice James Books). She is Associate Professor of English / Director of Creative Writing at Fordham University and co-founder of Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving Asian American writers.