Geraldine Fernandez (Dray), PHILIPPINES


To my grandmother,

You are still alive in our family house
your kindness touching the throat
of your most absent-minded grandchild
lending her songs grace to swallow
their wordiness
to make more room for bridges
Your morning recital of Pledge
of Loyalty and Latin vespers
resonate deep within the safety
of our midnight truths
Your laughter
an old prayer book
I hug to my breasts.
God is playing metal here
in the August of my regrets.
My poetry a teenager
mad at her sensitive skin
ceaselessly praying to be wrapped
in the December of her mother's embrace
and disappear into the New Year
of herself.


You are not alone, but you are..... p. 1-3
You're better off without the persistent roar of your room..... p. 4
It's just a room, let's not think too much or we'd end up alone..... p. 5
She wrote to tell you she's dead a long time ago..... p. 6
Sometimes the family portrait is a birthday cake that cannot wait for the knife... p. 7
Perhaps this book was written by women who did not report their rape..... p. 8-10
Some of you are men hiding your depression behind ready fists..... p. 11-12
As for me and my house, we deem saint the scent of mosquito coil..... p. 13
The way I dress is not my sister's favorite form of feminism..... p. 14
To be read when PTSD won’t let me get out of bed..... p. 15
If she wanted to support any radical movement, all she would do was admire herself in the mirror.... p. 16
Peace was nowhere in the scene during convalescence..... p. 17
But I'd shoplift Hope if I knew where you're storing it..... p. 18
To the woman wearing her bruises like statement shirts..... p. 19
Courage is a woman in plain clothes, uninvited to a masquerade party..... p. 20
Perhaps I write poems because I wanted no one to police my thoughts..... p. 21-23
Truth is a blue moon caught between her teeth..... p. 24
This page intentionally left blank..... p. 25


I write
when the house
grows a pair
of guilt-driven hands
that pull at my hair
as if I were held responsible
for the prayers
in father's annulment paper
the nervous laughter
that has become the anthem
of mother's kitchen
my introduction to Leonard Cohen
Nobody liked to eat
their words here
Nobody drank
because they were pissed
and wanted to write a poem
Nobody took themselves
so seriously they would forgive
what they had not done
when they were younger
I am someone's daughter
someone's sister
someone important here
in this room 
that was my grandmother's
sick room
It was here I penned
"I'm So Sad Today I Could Write A Swan Song"
under the influence of  over the counter
drugs for dengue fever
it was here I felt my father
touch my mother's hand
one last time
while hallucinating santan flowers
they loved me, they loved me
never, they loved me...

Geraldine Fernandez (Dray) is a graduate of Bachelor in Secondary Education Major in English, an incoming second year Juris Doctor student and mental health advocate from the Philippines. Her writing has recently appeared in Isacoustic*, Anti-Heroin Chic, Eunoia Review, Rigorous, Punch Drunk Press, Poetry Pulse, ALPAS Journal, Selah Magazine, Constellate, among other journals. I use poetry as a therapy tool for my mental disorders (Bipolar 1 + ADHD + Panic Disorder) Her works can be read at:,,,

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