Pinay's Letter From Australia

"Do not weep for what was lost and what is being lost..."

--Rio Alma


I am not ugly. In fact, I am beautiful.

The mirror reflects a plain portrait.

I have no injuries,

I lack nothing--

I have a husband I can go home to.


The nurse returns my clothes and my name,

She says not to worry,

This happens often.

These clothes are for a fat woman,

Because they are old and torn I can no longer be remembered.

She also delivers my comb and brush,

I can now leave this room.


I am hollow.

A wound that will leave the hospital.

An unattended wound left to pus.

Nameless and without a past, yet I will walk out.


I look around the white room,

No danger, no danger--

The entire place is a flame of melancholy,

In this room I surrender my tired mind.


She says not to worry,

This happens to others.

Here's the lipstick, apply a smile

To decrepit lips.


One, two, three days--

How long has it been?

Was I given a vacation from work?

Who was it that dropped me off?

I cannot peer into the past

Even through an opened suitcase.


They gave me a new identity--

Do not look for cut thread.

Nothing happened, nothing happened,

Imagine that you are almost blind.

Now place the tongue on your finger,

From your feet your thoughts will roam--

At the window the woman we will see is already different..


I have a husband I can go home to,

The figure I will leave assures me.

He loves you and will accept you

Even if your sanity has been soiled.


Emerging from my memory:

The shadow of cruelty and savagery,

Bronze hands and a frigid heart--

My skin is badly bruised,

My murdered sleep no longer comforts me.

That is no longer me. That is not mine.

Do not search for the escaping yesterdays.


I cloak my hopes.

I remove the bandages one by one.