Two Poems by Sophie Ligaya dela Cruz

These two poems by Sophie Ligaya dela Cruz dangle precariously between the lines of reverent and repulsive; intimate and distant; mercurial and steady. They tremble like heartbeats and demonstrate a yearning for an already faded warmth…

by: Sophie Ligaya dela Cruz

The Cannibal’s Exigence

Souls can
smile — though they 
do not have any 
tongues. Nor are 
they shaped or tangible; and 
yet this one 
lingers sweetly on 
my lips; leaves an absent 
touch on my shoulder —
the cold tang of winter
Souls have no color 
and no sound — but they 
possess the phantom of 
a character. They stumble, 
singing drinking songs,
or they shift around with 
choreographed precision. 

The soul raises itself, 
for supplication and mercy, partially 
sideways, partially severed; it opens 
wide and gulps, filling herself with
the aortic rhythm that only human 
nature can create. I want a
morbid caress — the touch 
of shaking palms — someone 
to share myself with,
carefully presented and prepared,
taking me until I am
........split in two.

From the edge of 
my core, I know
nothing is here. 
Hearts were made for
satiation. I will 
........never be full.
Wordsmiths Colonized My Mind

My mother tongue
is formed from smiling ghosts.
.......I hear it sing. My
.......shadows hum its chorus.

First, I’ll take each term from
rosy lips and blow them
from my palm — dandelion’s
petals roaring through the wind
.......and landing where the 
.......spirits rise.

Then, I’ll greet the ground
on which we walk. She 
sees me every day, and links
my lungs to sky with rounded
chains — yet will not learn name when she 
.......comes calling.

And last, I’ll dress in blue and 
white, neither borrowed nor
bent — taken from that 
.......slanted world we own,
.......But do not remember.  

So let us speak again of
mirages — their softened, silver rays — 
.......I’ll hold the trails where they
.......may never lose me.

Sophie Ligaya dela Cruz is a teenaged novelist, poet, and em-dash enthusiast currently attending the University of California, Berkeley. Their work has appeared in publications such as Polyphony Lit and Neologism Poetry Journal. When they aren’t writing, Sophie is pinching crab rangoons, twirling pens between their fingers, and watching the stars float in the sky.

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