Cover Photo: This is a photograph of sunflowers in a basket.
Photograph by Anastasia Lysiak/Unsplash


This poem was written by Steffi Tad-y in a 12-Month Poetry Collection Generator taught by Angel Nafis.

if it were barbed wire or bits of beer glass the bougainvillea towered over, or an orange boomerang then a scar under my eye. One day, I want to retire from seeing only the spectacle. Live long enough to grow with my hands. Press one’s fingers into the dirt. Gather beans. Make of it a warm bowl. Muscle a cramped road. This is my signal. Today, I will celebrate. Here is a grandfather in a bucket hat, bobbing to Purple Rain. Sunflowers from Sxótsaqel spring out of his car window while a basset hound says hello. Earlier, my nephew had a thread around his two milk teeth. His mother by the door. I wish you were there to see him. The way he said wow. In our language, to wake up rhymes with blessing. The sun is beginning to line my irises. My niece, how she sings Baby Shark. What else can I tell you? Let us go. There is side-street parking. The ticket machine looks like a pair of binoculars across an orchid mural. Keys & raincoat are on the table. I have been late all this time.

Steffi Tad-y is a poet and writer from Manila. Her latest chapbook, Merienda, was published by Rahila’s Ghost Press in 2021. She lives in Vancouver, B.C., in the territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam Nations.