Mariel Alonzo

Paper crane
Photo Credit: Eva the Weaver

Back when I was young, I learned how
to fold paper in a thousand halves, a neat trick
that had my classmates gawk with every
disappearing paper act, I realized that a
paper gone didn’t do against the class rabbit
when he came, so I would lock myself in
a closet and try to fold it to everything then

I learned how to fold mothers, so that her arms were always
stretched in a hug, and I would place myself within
and fold it, closing me in. She would smell of
vanilla, all things ancient, her eyes I ripped from an astronomy
book, so that at night they would glow and reek of stars.

I learned how to fold birds. Tiny at first, like flies that
flittered about constantly, but I grew better at it
and soon I was soaring in heights with a dragon
that took me a week to make, wings from the
Sunday opinion column on politics and corruption.

I learned how to fold furniture, appliances,
just enough to get me by when my diploma
I too fold into a rose for my mother who lay
in her favorite white dress, a best friend through

Just recently, I managed to perfect her breasts.
My wife whose lips taste like the grasslands of
Yanqing and the glaciers of Skaftafell, I twisted
her mouth to only speak when spoken to, crippled
her legs that she may only ever be with me,
clipped her ears that my voice would be the only
vantage point of her existence.

She was perfect, inevitably.

But one day, she had crawled beyond
the veranda and drowned in the slight rain,
I found her melting, foxing, a smile on her lips
pointing at the sky where a plane, unmade
of paper, flies.

pencilMariel Alonzo is currently an undergraduate of the University of the Philippines. She was recently a finalist to Laura Thomas Communications International Junior Poetry Contest, and some of her work can be found in online literary journal Softblow. You can reach her through her blog. Email: blue.stained[at]gmail.com

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