Jeff William Acosta

noche buena

inside this garden of cold cemented boxes,
beside these eyeballs we cannot close, we wake. 

and not because we forgot to dream or sing 
lullabies to the dead but to devour
all the night might offer—their eyelids

fluttering to the hissing oil: we’re frying the shooting stars, 
fireflies, horseflies, houseflies and all the lies that make them 

we stand and squint, in a middle of something, beyond 7 p.m. 
or probably more minutes or an hour. Through its slipping 
hands, we sniffed, the savory sauce and dip the meat of someone’s 
hands—her nails 
are charred, just the way I like my isaw.

forget her head. 
no one will know nor draw her face
on a canvas, in case she went missing. 
and not that it’s ugly 
for museums, but it is too ordinary
to even dare remember.

faster and smear it along our mouths
—her torn limbs, are falling on the ground.

my lola said, when I was younger: “bilisan mo! 
it’s not five seconds yet and you can still save it”
before the ants catch its smell and the taste remains, 
not the taste of ants (like it was something she learned from her science teacher),

but caramel and coffee and sweet, 
just like her eyes
that are translucent and half closed.

before we could offer it to my salivating brother,
before his turn himself to lie down on a platter, 
before she went to the nearest hospital,
before her breath
catches her.

Jeff William Acosta is a first-year student who is currently pursuing culinary arts at AsiaWorld Culinary Academy. His poetry has appeared or are forthcoming in Vox Populi, Revolt Magazine, Lumiere Review, 聲韻詩刊 Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, Here: a poetry journal, and other literary journals. He is an occasional ukulele, guitar, drums player. He is currently learning the middle C on the piano and intends to just keep it that way. Part-time painter and bibliophile-in-training, when Jeff isn’t writing, he is lurking in his room watching Korean dramas and anime.

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