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Eileen R. Tabios

The Secret Life of an Angel

(--after Jose Garcia Villa’s “Girl Singing…”)

Girl singing. Day. The old man

of winter reaches for immortality
with a lengthening shadow
despite my skipping away.

Girl singing! I insist. Day!
I chant like the
Babaylan I will
become to keep the clouds

from dimming the sun, from
milking the sky of its cobalt
gaze. He has worn many

disguises, and I have let him:
the original angel who fell
and fell. “It’s a glorious ride,”

he has whispered as part of his
spell. “This is a game of poker
I have lost, but no longer wish

to play,” I reply. Girl singing.
Day. I insist and proclaim:
“You cannot scoff, my secret

demon. For I played with high
stakes while you only watched.”
Girl singing. Day. I risked

everything while you hedged
so I could sing notes
only virgin boys can muster,

only fearlful dogs can hear.
I lost myself in the ‘valley
of evil’ but my wings unfurled

to make me rise. Unlike your
wings, mine did not betray—
unfurling as I changed my mind

for Heaven nearer than a breath away.


collaboration by Eileen Tabios & Andrew Lundwall

The sound of paradise
is a sound much like
the clinking of cans
the noise of the streets

the creaks up the stairwell
—I could go on but
is not this sound
like hell-sourced hollerings

swelling seedlings
bursting forth magnified
as sun seeps through
slits on opened palms?

Through views made
possible only by pain?
A white dove's beak
releases quivering sky.

A shelter is found in hues:
"perspective angle shift" --
the other day a yellow bird
transformation: O rebirth!

Copyright © Eileen Tabios, 2006
Copyright © Eileen Tabios and Andrew Lundwall, 2006