Lady Liberty by Pauline Lacanilao

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Lady Liberty

I’d like to lift her skirt
just a bit at first

and on the half-globe
of her ankle map the oceans

she’s never seen, mark
with a dab of coconut oil

the island where I was born
where I sit now pressing

my tongue against her
name against my

teeth, dizzied
by the circularity of

what is sewn and
separated at the seam

of touch, the border I cross
to stroke her

flame then snuff it out
replacing the Union’s

old monument with
a new union,

one that ravages
her neck and jaw

with sloppy kisses, gropes
the huddled masses

beneath her minted folds,
dances a finger up

the chlorine green of her
knees, the faded dollar

of her thighs, and collects
the gown recklessly

around her waist
and from her iron

girdle reads the names of
those she didn’t mean

to send away.
 


Pauline Lacanilao

Pauline Lacanilao is a Filipina writer and development worker living in Manila, Philippines. Her work has been published in Kritika Kultura Literary Journal, Journal of English and Comparative Literature, Women’s Voices For Change, and Eastlit. She works for an organization that provides food, shelter, and education to abandoned children from indigent communities. | paulinelacanilao.com