by Sam Roxas-Chua


My mother has her eye on you.

Yesterday, I watched her tip-toe
over a wall to tell Mumu
about the mountain salts
she will coat your body with,
show the claw she will slice
your cheeks with, make slits
where she will fit balls
of rolled coriander leaves
to soften the bloat once
you are baked underground,
under turtle rocks the size
of black soup pots.

Tomorrow, before the orange hours,
she will ask me to catch you.
I will use my quiet boat
carved from wooden caskets
that surfed on our sad shores.
I remember those days
after the tsunami:
stories of swallowed slippers
from sleeping children found
hanging under the bloat
of their mother’s breasts
like stars suckling midnight
out of the sky.




Sam Roxas-Chua was born in 1973 in Manila, Philippines, and lives in Eugene, Oregon. He is the author of Fawn Language and the editor & publisher of The Quietry. Sam was an honorable mention for the Jeff Marks Poetry Prize and the winner of the Missouri Review’s 7th Annual Audio Competition prize, and was invited to read before a session of the Oregon State Legislature. His poems have appeared in various journals, including Jefferson Monthly, Verseweavers, The Inflectionist Review, Mixer, Concord, and Paw Print.