mango-peeling heat strikes my pale skin
while i whistle for the breeze--
the cool but sticky
humid air clings,
my body tastes the sliver of perspiration.
mama beckons me to her,
standing on a clearing,
sheltered by tall bamboo trees.
she squints while she waits,
eyes exposed by the glaring sun.
on her face: patterns that move with the breeze,
dancing pictures from shadows of leaves.
she takes me into her arms with a sweep,
leaving my feet to dangle near her side.
i grasp shadows and watch little fingers
make ducks, rabbits, and birds on her cheek.
her dimples deepen with a smile.
as did mine, pearly teeth showing little,
and gaps where age comes shy of three.
"tatang is waiting," she whispers.
he stood tall and lean, peering towards me
an indentation on his cheek too,
i noticed, just like me.
he smelled like the sun, age, and comfort.
i reached for his hair,
grasped at curling black strands near his temple.
then he picked me off my mama's arms,
in the same fluid, quick but gentle sweep.