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tattle tale

I.

didn't know you
had that much fight in you
gripping the razor tongue
of a pair of scissors
stabbing the air like bursting
hundreds of balloons
striking the soft part of his palm
t.j call 911 maawa ka sa bata
maawa ka

I thought you were
dead
silence
nothing but the sound of tumbling
coffee beans crashing to the kitchen linoleum
you screamed for me
then nothing

he asked me if I called
my hand covering the dispatchers voice
telling me to
stay
on the phone
showed me his hand
said you went crazy
good for her I thought finally

I looked for your body
amongst the pile of broken
dishes and glass and
upturned chairs
nothing
but the sliding of coffee beans
into the frozen cup of my hands

he wiped the metal frame
of the chair he hit you with
but blood stains hard
sinks thick
the cushion gives him away every time
I can still point out the chair
I never sit there

II.

so tough
I never saw a drop
you let me cry enough for both of us
even if you told me I was being maarte
you're fine you said
but you're thumb was a grape
swollen and blushed
I held your hand
frantic on the freeway
maybe it was more for me

when are you going to give me some of that stuff
that iron look and mountain voice
sometimes you say I look like I'm
going to eat you
is that anything like the stuff you got
does it come close to boldness
you would stare down the moon
if it looked at you from a wrong angle

I cry at least four times
through The Color Purple
each tear is never the same texture of wet
tonight I reserved two just for you
one confused gourd-shaped drop
plummeting from my left duct
aimless without a care where it may crash

the other
a diamond chip
tired and easing down my face
with only the intention
to land
softly on my lap


A Pilipino/Pilipino-American, Tim Arevalo has called Manila, Oakland, Daly City, and now Brooklyn his home. He has worked with YouthSpeaks - a non-profit youth arts organization - co-facillitating writing workshops, peer mentoring, and coaching the first New York City youth poetry slam team that took part of the National Youth Poetry Slam in San Francisco of April, 2000. He is featured in the film Poetic License and is published in the anthology Revolutionary Voices (Alyson Press, 2000).

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