Jose Luis Pablo or “Nico” is a communications manager for a non-profit organization in the Philippines. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Creative Writing in the University of the Philippines Diliman. He won awards in the 2018 Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Literary Contest and the 2018 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. His poetry has been published in “Likhaan: The Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature” and “Cordite Poetry Review.”
Where I'm From
of crescent moon, I enter
the world and wait
for the gore to be wiped off me.
In young night, I glow
silver, glimmering hope,
pearl of my parents.
I skip to where the water
breaks but hands jolt me back
from frothing danger.
I sit on the shore, pail in hand,
drawing the face of Jesus
with the other.
Days are filled with story and song,
full bodied laughter and certainty
But when nights come, the bonfire
casts long shadows. I see a tumbling
fool, man turned match, a figure
fleeing its origin.
Invention births a tool placed
in my hand. With it, I right
the error of memory.
Against playful flame, I carve
on shells of fruit, shadows forgotten
in the flickering moment.
I march back
to the shore, grasping
the containers of written flesh.
One by one, I tip
them to the water and watch them
fill the horizon.