Size / / /

Content warning:



I slid open the capiz-paned windows
and howled as if I was answering
the far-off cry of a demented dog.
My frustrated father said
I would be conjuring the aswang.

All night I remained awake on the hard floor,
the woven mat etched lattice on my back.
At the corner, between the hanged clothes,
there was a man standing, with moon-translucent face.
Outside, empty bottles whistled and bamboos creaked
but the nocturnal bugs were silent.

The next morning Father asked me
to fetch some water from the clay jar.
Through its opening, I noticed someone's head rising—
with glutinous seaweed hair.
I quivered as ice pick-tip nails scraped
the clammy earthenware.

* aswang—a vampire-like ghoul in Philippine folklore



Romalyn Ante has been a member of Writing West Midlands Room 204. Her poems appeared in a variety of magazines such as Cannon's Mouth, Southlight, and Ink, Sweat, & Tears, amongst others. She has also prize-winning poems in The Yellow Book (2015). Her first novel, Chasing Deimos, was shortlisted for The Asian Writer Chick-Lit Competition in 2014.
Current Issue
21 Nov 2022

As far back as I could remember, Oma warned me about the bats. She said they would eat me if they found me exposed at night. But I knew the green light of the moon would protect me, even when I was still smaller than Oma.
The truth is: / she does not have to bend into a ceramic plate to carry us beautifully, & my father / isn't the hand that will break her.
the rattle of the rails, the shuffling-muttering of hundreds of passengers nestled in the one long limb of you
Issue 14 Nov 2022
Issue 7 Nov 2022
Issue 31 Oct 2022
Issue 17 Oct 2022
Issue 10 Oct 2022
Issue 3 Oct 2022
Issue 26 Sep 2022
Issue 21 Sep 2022
Issue 12 Sep 2022
Issue 5 Sep 2022
Load More
%d bloggers like this: