Cut me open and you’d find the universe. That is to say, if you were to slice into my rememberings you’d discover the traces of a world I was always part of, no matter how hard I tried to elbow my way out. I am the patterns growing from a center, a mother with simple longings of survival and love laced into the stitches she made across her existence. It is backwards, which is to say she is not my core, and neither am I the center of this story. Like the branches of a coastline slurping ocean we are mere pieces of a larger thing, the mother and I, her mother before her and the mothers that will follow me. We birth each other into being and wander along coastlines until the moment we crawl back into light. There is no darkness where we are from, the mother who first opened. If you were to cut me open you’d see that I am only a shape molded for thousands of years. We dig deeper and glance into infinity, that we are creating ourselves.
Dina Klarisse writes to investigate the intersections of history, language, culture, and identity. As a Filipina American immigrant, she looks to poetry as a collective, community-based exploration of the diasporic experience. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, HANDSPUN ROSARIES.