I Never Knew Typhoons
The bowl. The floral pattern. Tendrils taut
against the surface. Contents: rice. Content
with rice, with home a continent away.
In the Philippines they eat with their hands,
the transference from fingertips to lips
an everyday occurrence. America:
a boy is scolded when he plucks rice
from the plate, shifting it to the palate.
The teacher sends him out of sight and mind
to pacify the stickiness. He yields
the tail end of an archipelago.
Unwelcome behavior. Uncivilized.
Succumb to knives to sit at their table.
I use a fork and knife—I never knew
typhoons in lands a cardboard box away.
I bring the forkful to my mouth and chew.
My mind cultivates paddies in Luzon.
Alleliah Amabelle Nuguid is a sophomore at
Northwestern University in Illinois, but her home is Fremont,
California. Her poems were published most recently in Origami
Condom, Pulsar Poetry Magazine, UK, and Children, Churches &