The Inaugural Issue

Two Poems

Danton Remoto


The Sound of the Sea

                     for Lupin, in Bantayan Island, Cebu City, Philippines


The sound of the sea

Is sad, you tell me,

As we sit on the sand

And the night is alive

With the wounds of stars.


As sad as our fathers

Who passed on quickly

Into the light,

Followed after one full moon

By our broken mothers.


How did we survive

Such utter loss?



We lapsed into a silence

As deep as a well,

That if someone threw a pebble

Into this well—

Its smooth, solid grayness

Hurtling down the void---

It will never ever reach

The water at the bottom

Of the well.




                    for Lupin


I leave your tiger-striped towel hanging

On its rack, and inhale deeply

What remains of your scent

In the fibers of the towel.


Your pillow I keep

In its proper place,

Beside mine, of course,

the indentation in the middle

Hollow like my palm.


The few clothes you have left

With me converse with each other

In the dark closet,

Whispering about the sound

Of the latch being


Turned, his steps light

Up the wooden stairs,

His luggage being set

On the granite floor,

His voice mingling


With mine who is left behind

(the 600 kilometers between us

Pulsing like a heartbeat),

Our laughter now filling

The room with so much light



As we begin to open the door.



Danton Remoto. ‘Two Poems’. Queer Southeast Asia: a literary journal of transgressive art Vol. 1. no. 1, October 2016.

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