On Visiting the Philippines Newly Born

I was fed on buffalo milk. Cooled after boiling.
The liquid alloyed with my blood, surveilling

From the country where my parents loved each other.
A memory dimmed (though the heat, still assailing).

My mother away, I had clung to my lola's legs. She thought
I forgot her! Years later and I am still convincing, still consoling.

If not in body, then in language I have tried to effect
A return. Praise for this uneven effort: “Ang galing!”

At first, even I could not say my name:
Alleliah, a twister, a mystery uncoiling.


Alleliah Nuguid is from Fremont, California. Her work has appeared in Permafrost, Strange Horizons, and Contemporary Ghazals. She holds an MFA in poetry from Boston University.