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THREE POEMS by Joseph O. Legaspi


When in love I melt into yellow,

blend in with every light to become

the most luminous apparition.

You've come disguised, hair

upswept, eyes two shades

murkier than petroleum,

a face I've never seen but know

in-the-gut-of-me, I seem born

from it, but in mirroring honesty

I often fancy you

are someone else, I prefer

this, realizing how lacking

you are, I can be happy

with a stranger moon.


Droplets of blood

dripped from the intimate bowels

spotted painterly, swirled

gauzily, flushed.

Earlier, when I cracked

the egg it dropped two

yolks like marigolds.


Are you man/or butterfly,/the way your/dress billows/ over the/jackhammering/sidewalk? You’re/tulle slipping through/air, liquid/cement, gray/pavement got/ nothing on you,/equine-prancing/as if there’s no/war./ How good does/it feel for a/transformation/to fool no/one? But/yourself?/ Man swaddled/in silkworm/spit./ Reality wears/a thin veil.


JOSEPH O. LEGASPI, a Fulbright and NYFA fellow, is the author of two poetry collections from CavanKerry Press, Threshold (Fall 2017) and Imago (2007; Also, University of Santo Tomas Press (Philippines), 2015); and two chapbooks, Aviary, Bestiary (Organic Weapon Arts, 2014), and Subways (Thrush Press, 2013). Recent works have appeared in POETRY, New England Review, Memorious, Best of the Net, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day. He co-founded Kundiman (, a non-profit organization serving Asian American literature. He lives with his husband in Queens, NY.


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