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 ........air. 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 .......my 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.