after Christina “Goldie” Poblador
someone once told me the philippines is a secret matriarchy. the filipina rules the roost—she is

the neck. i have never understood this dissimulation, gussying up your words, stepping into
shadows. i want to be the head. my voice is too loud—i have no filter. people rub their ears when
i speak. perhaps i am too american, this post-colonial product of the millennium, this sapling

born out of migration, this grafting onto trees on unknown soil. i am a strange creature, half-alien

to the inhabitants of the only land i ever claimed and of the land my seed floated from. there is

no silence my presence will not disturb, no place for me but what i make. i stake my claim. i

choose to be the hyphen, the question mark, the unavoidable space.