As Regards Those Who Should Inherit the Earth


Eileen R. Tabios





Gaston and Gaspar: boys whose names became relevant

when their bones became transparent—Yet again imagination

fails to alchemize air into protein—No redemption despite


immersing myself in a sea until, chin just topping salty water,

my head became attached to the entire planet— “Mom” and

“Dad” defined as a turquoise house cheered by kittens and


where a new resident learns meals will be finished and, still,

there will be food for the next—An ascetic’s illusion of ecstasy

transcends illusion due to its condition precedent: a suffering


so unmitigated it hollowed non-survivors from children to

earthworms—Smiling, a child stuffed doves into burlap bags—

A child paused to scratch with a missing finger—No one


notices the diminishing moon’s tiptoe across the night sky—

A child received a scar while an emerald mountain wept—

O lucidity of ancient mountains—The first human emerged


the way we all continue to be birthed: through violent ruptures—

White light, white roses, white silk, white lace and white pearls

adorned her  wedding—but I remember only that this happy day


included the whisper, “Mama, glass is easily broken …” I stared

at a photograph of a baby with belly larger than head and later

argued with my son’s math teacher, “Two negatives do not equal


a positive!” A grandmother threw empty bottles at a toddler’s face—

Broken glass surfaced someone’s first conception of Beauty through

a sliver’s lovely wink, belying edges, sharpness, future cuts—


Algebra failing to succor when indigenous cell memory destabilizes

relationships—O aftermaths from dilemmas of belonging!

See clutter of broken objects manifesting affordable treasures


when one owns nothing, or owns only dilemmas over belonging—

O the seeking that began without knowing whether one will stink

or sing—Questions thickening as sun moves alongside moon


to preserve possibilities for synchronous precisions against skeptics

scoffing at commitments—What difference between desires

for father and fodder—Inevitable anthologies of glass—Pause


for the silvery thrum among treetops during perpetual autumns—

Clamp down on dreams of a carapace, then its splitting—It was not

a dream when a bolt of cream linen turned crimson along edges


touching the floor—Forget that coil that bowed with sinister purpose:

it is being lubricated now

                                                          for an intent to revise—








Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released about 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in eight countries and cyberspace.  Recent books include AMNESIA: SOMEBODY’S MEMOIR (Black Radish Books, 2016) and THE OPPOSITE OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2017).  Forthcoming poetry collections include MANHATTAN: An Archaeology (2017) and HIRAETH: Tercets From the Last Archipelago (2018).  Inventor of the poetry form “hay(na)ku,” she has been translated into eight languages.  She also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 12 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays as well as served as editor or guest editor for various literary journals.  More information is available at