Why I Am Rarely Nostalgic
     —Bauang Beach, circa 1965

She knew she should know
better

I was barely older than a
toddler

I had played with her only
daughter

during those summer days of
Innocence

by a sapphire sea warmed by a gentle
sun

When it was time to
leave

she gently suggested I
give

her daughter one of my
dresses

“An old one no one would
miss”

My eyes that squinted all
summer

opened wide and saw the
World—

ravishing with its poverty and
desires

ravishing with its grief, such
grief

 

 

 

 

Eileen Tabios has released over sixty collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries and cyberspace. In 2021, she released her first novel DoveLion: A Fairy Tale for Our Times and first French book La Vie erotique de l’art (trans. Samuel Rochery). Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku, a 21st century diasporic poetic form and the MDR Poetry Generator that can create poems totaling theoretical infinity. Translated into eleven languages, she also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction, and essays.