BY ELIZABETH RUTH DEYRO.
Marbled floors are just as filthy as grease-
kissed pavements when its shine is covered
with this thick coat of scarlet. We know
that silence often weighs the same as murder,
the glimmer of glossy paper doesn’t hide the blood
stain on this fifty-thousand peso designer dress.
I confess that prestige does come
with a pretty face, golden contour
against cotton candy pink cheeks hemoglobin shades of MAC
on puckered lips hair dyed with the same scarlet tones left
in the crime scene. Eyelash curled like bodies
before they take their last breaths after the frame-up:
every man from the slums are goats,
said the boys in blue, bloated from white crystals.
Diamond-ringed fingers always pointing
where they cast shadows, never afraid of missing the shot
with registered guns and flossed baby teeth as bullets.
I loved the taste of five-minute fame rotting on the sides,
watching thumbs turn into legions, claps into static.
But when the radios went down,
all I heard was the sound of jagged breath
before the trigger was pulled. Its mouth against my head, it tells me
that it is bound to fire when I stop hitting the keys,
Elizabeth Ruth Deyro is a Filipino cultural and literary editor, journalist, poet, and socialist feminist. Her journalistic practice focuses on human rights, social justice, and Southeast Asian culture, with bylines in Philippine Star, CNN Philippines, Rappler, and Art+ Magazine, among others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems have appeared in literary journals such as The Philippines Graphic, Rust + Moth, Hypertrophic Literary, Ache Magazine, Porridge Magazine, and The Poetry Annals. Her poetry delves into the realities of the female experience as a native Filipino woman, shedding light on the endured violence, misogyny, and stigma both as an individual and systemic struggle. She currently volunteers at independent feminist publishing collective Gantala Press and grassroots organization Gabriela Southern Tagalog, and works as a journal editor and columnist at the Half Mystic Journal. Find her on Twitter at @elizabethdeyro.