3 Poems by Harold Legaspi




We camped at Narrow Neck

despite your anxiety, how the nerves

spark tremours

each time you go outside.

I tell myself it doesn’t matter if it’s just

You and Me. Such lovely lies.

A campfire with your warmth

melts the heart. The Marshmallow Man

you become. &

under the blanket sky, shooting stars flare

& with it a secret wish.

I teach you how

it takes eight minutes for the sun’s light

to reach earth & how the twinkling stars

you see could be dead red giants, breathless
nebulae. & you toss & turn in our tent, peer

at me with frosted lips & tell me you’ll never

see the stars the same way again.





the path to fame is rocky, filled

with uncertainty and doubt.

one writer I know was an overnight

success. she shot to stardom

when her book gained critical

acclaim. not because she was black,

or a migrant or louder than

everyone else. but because she had

something to say, which was something

no one had said before, or if it had,

nobody noticed. and what she said,

resonated with masses. she was proud

to be black, like it was something

she had a real choice over, like it was

in her control. if she could choose to be

born black or white, do you think she would

prefer fame over privilege? to be known as the

Loudest Black Woman, disgruntled about her class,

writing polemics for equality. would we measure

her with the same yardstick as we measure

ourselves? or would we play fair and treat her

the same? would fame be a thing then

in a society devoid of race. would she be

just another one of us.





Mind that hate,

live in my jealousy

of insecure bricks. Come inside,

let my malice haunt your sordid

affairs. Warm up my fear,

throw rocks at

my cheating heart. Careful with

my masculinity—I am hyper with

greed, craving attention you seek.

Listen to my rhetoric. I am otherwise

the champion of your soul.


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