On My First Visit to Gay’s The Word
I thought of my parents the entire time.
Not them now, of course, they’re all forgiven
after having asked for forgiveness. No,
it’s their younger, sharper versions
that stick to my brain like first instinct
when I’m in new surroundings,
how they taught me to always doubt
and be aware of how physical I am,
of the possibility that I may be standing on a spot
someone else should be.
I’m staring at a bookshelf but
I’m actually distracted by the thought
of how my parents would react if they knew
that the son they once defined as broken
and tried to piece back together
using Spiderman webs and threats
of my ankle tied to a tree branch
is currently in a bookshop
full of stories about boys liking boys
and nothing was niche about it,
nothing was blasphemous.
Here, protest is not a disruption to peace
but synonymous to celebration.
Here, a Filipino boy enjoying his brownness
is recorded in a photography book.
The text talks of how being a Scorpio
has affected his Tinder relationships;
he calls it multi-tasking.
TROY CABIDA is a Filipino poet and producer for open mic night Poetry and Shaah. His recent poems have appeared in TAYO Literary, harana poetry and MacMillan. His debut pamphlet War Dove was published by Bad Betty Press.