This article is part of a special project between the International Examiner and the South Seattle Emerald to produce content in 2022 addressing Asian and Pacific Islander racism and resilience. This content was made possible by a grant from the Seattle Human Services Department.

Ronnie Estoque’s relative’s sari-sari store shelf in Manila, Philippines. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Estoque.

My ancestors toiled soil
Long before my first breath
Plant roots that span the depths of the
Pacific Ocean
Entrenched by blood scream melodies
The moon knows stories
Time capsule loves notes is what she holds
Stars that know your
First scream
Last tear
Lola used to tell me about spirits
Full moon rises and moth like dances
Etched into my skin she lives
In my free fall laughs
Lolo showed love inside Balikbayan boxes
Sent with love and Hershey chocolates
I long to see sun rises again
Horizons untouched by light


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