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  • I want to wear words like they are second skin. I want to wear them in my nakedness, like layers that keep the light and impressions they ingest from what they are fed: the water from the rain I once opened my face to with a lost-and-found friend; the ambivalent aloneness of the arugula-and-pine-nuts lunch I discovered in a museum; the static cling I have acquired from living a culture that prescribes arm's-length distances as comfort zone between strangers. I want to wear words like they wear me inside out.

    I wish to wear words like the children wear their laughter. I wish to wear them as a cloak for storm-wrecked dreams. When the roofs and bridges collapse,* I wish my words to be a cloth that stretches the sails of vintas**, navigating around the broken land, pouring out fish and rice to the people whose songs I wear on my tongue. I wish my words to be like seashells of the sand, hollow and echoing the sea, mountains and fields, to be smoothed down like banana leaves — rolled into tiny flutes for make-shift lullabies. I wish to wear words that find themselves speechless in the night.

    I dream to shed words in my sleep. Like an onion, I dream to be a word used, shredded — until nothing of itself is. A mirror of a mirror of a mirror, I dream to unbecome me, to vanish into the stream, the way this dream has un r a v e l l e d .

    * Central Philippines, specifically Cebu and Bohol, has recently suffered a 7.2 Magnitude earthquake, collapsing houses and buildings, killing and injuring people and destroying roads and bridges that have made it very difficult to deliver aid by land. Boats, (limited) air transport and (slow) land transportation as of this writing, are being used.
    **vintas - native boats with colorful sails usually found in central and southern Philippines.
    ***This author uses words by helping co-maintain @twitter_ph — a Twitter community account that (aside from being a language account) also helps in Philippine disaster-and-relief operations by disseminating information on Twitter.
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