Sam Roxas-Chua


A man born on a ship can have two Gods.
A world that has two Gods will have the two colors of snow.

When it’s time for the oceans to breathe in that snow,
the man born on a ship will freeze. When the strongest anchor
splits in the freeze, it’s time to take an oath.

A man paid me with an oath, so I sold him my ship.
A man who lives on a ship can have three lives.

When a man sells his three lives, the moon’s color will turn
three tones of black. When canaries sing the octaves of black,
the great squid will spill her abyssal ink. A new prayer

will be written with this ink and a third God will send his son
to earth with tentacles for feet. A boy who is born on a ship

will bite off his ugly feet. When my father offered himself
as a gift, I took my first step. When I took my first step,
I walked on water.

     Sam Roxas-Chua


If I had known
I would have saved the abacus
from the fire. I would have hidden
in the swannery until morning.

If I had known there was a zealot carving
into your blood clot, I would have stayed
on the phone much longer. I would have listened
to you sing the Mei hua, Mei hua song.

I would have turned the lights off
and straightened my back against the wall,
coiled the phone cord around my finger
and remembered summers

under the mango tree.
Summers when you taught me how to peel a fruit
with my tongue. If I had known the sky
would inhale you out of me so quickly,

I would have been a better boy,
I would have been a bird.

     Sam Roxas-Chua