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the red sweater
by Joseph Legaspi

slides down into my body, soft
lambs wool, what everybody
in school is wearing, and for me
to have it my mother worked twenty
hours at the fast-food joint.
The sweater is a perfect fit,
the sleeves snug, thin on the waist.
As I run my fingers through the knit,
I see my mother over the hot oil in the fryers
dipping a strainer full of stringed potatoes.
In a twenty hour period my mother waits
on hundreds of customers: she pushes
each order under ninety seconds, slaps
the refried beans she mashed during prep time,
the lull before rush hours, onto steamed tortillas,
the room's pressing heat melting her make-up.
Every clean strand of weave becomes a question.
How many burritos can one make in a continuous day?
How many pounds of onions, lettuce and tomatoes
pass through the slicer? How do her wrists
sustain the scraping, lifting and flipping
of meat patties? And twenty

hours are merely links
in the chain of days startlingly similar,
that begin in the blue morning with my mother
putting on her polyester uniform, which,
even when it's newly-washed, smells
of mashed beans and cooked ground beef.

© Joseph Legaspi

| Visiting the Manongs in a Convalescent Home in Delano |
The Red Sweater | The Sow | Three Muses

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CAMILO ANTONIO
shoppers of paradise
for so the boys rule

FERNANDO AYALA
of kings and fools
paintings

KERMIN BALAWIS
ano nga ba ang tula

CARLENE SOBRINO BONNIVIER
after the dance
child

KIMBERLY CASTRO
the spare key

JERRY GRANDEA
the rice terraces
arteries
my brothers
kiss the baby, love the baby
yin-yang plate

EVEE HUERVANA
in my net

LUISA IGLORIA
grass
two canvases
mother liquor
jungian dream therapy

PAOLO JAVIER
my hoarse poesy

SEB KOH
doubt
pain

JOSEPH LEGASPI
Visiting the Manongs in a Convalescent Home in Delano
The Red Sweater
The Sow
Three Muses

LILAC LIMPANGOG
64-square riddle

TRIFEE MIACO
Expressions in Lilies

ABIGAIL CRUZ OLIVA
samahan mo ako /
kaduaennak
(iloko version)

sa paglaya ng ibon /
iti panagwaywayas ti tumatayab
(iloko version)


JESSIE BADILLO SNYDER
precipice

IRENE SUICO SORIANO
tata dinong
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