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