I Am Not from the Philippines

by Sarah Gambito

A white guy liked me and it was like
a lake might bend in half.

I wanted to go to The Olive Garden.
I said Yes with my eyes like platelets.

When God was Filipino,
he put a pig and fire together and called it porkissimo.

I grabbed a Filipino girl’s hand she said are you a lesbian.
I faked it to myself. I faked it to them all.

All the nurses ever, ever in the world
are Filipino.

Like a push in the gut, I rush past the hovels of hospital rooms.
The great digital of machines and humans simmering at work.

The pork chop of the leg poking from the blanket.
There will always be sick people. You’ll always have a job.

Nurses with their white soft shoes. Their cuneiform writing.
The change purses of nurses diveting around.

My aunts, mothers, uncles, cousins whiplashing into nurses.

Published on September 30, 2015