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#AllPinayEverything: Joi Barrios

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Philippine American Writers and Artists blog for lit/arts events, reviews, news, and opportunities.

#AllPinayEverything: Joi Barrios

bjanepr

Next up for #AllPinayEverything is poet Joi Barrios. This poem, "Botox Day," is really very touching. Lots to think about here, about gender, beauty, and aging. 

"Botox Day?"
(For J.) by Joi Barrios

Tanghaling tapat sa Glorietta.
At ikinukuwento ko sa iyo
Ang aking umaga –
At ang aking unang botox.

Ito ang mga bilin ng doktora:

Una, kailangan ng kilay ng ehersisyo.
Kailangang kumalat ang lason sa noo.
Taas-baba, baba-taas,
Mainam na balaan agad ang kausap.

Ikalawa, huwag hihiga
Sa loob ng apat na oras.
Hindi dapat umabot ang nasabing lason
Sa mata o pisngi.
Baka maplantsa pati ang ngiwi.

Natatawa ka lang sa kuwento kong
Kuwento ng babaeng lampas kuwarenta,
Kuwento ng pangamba sa mga bakas ng pagtanda.

Ano nga bang maisusukli ng binata
Sa kanyang katanghalian?
Isang ngiti,
Bulalas ng pagtangi,
At naglaho sa aking puso,
Biglang-bigla,
Bawat gusot, bawat gatla.

 

"Botox Day?"
(translation by Ninotchka Rosca)

As we have lunch at Glorietta,
I tell you about my botox morning.

My doctor’s orders:

Exercise the eyebrows,
The poison needs to spread.
Up – down, down – up,
If I do not want to seem too strange,
I should warn my friends.

In the next four hours,
Do not lie down.
The aforementioned poison
Should not spread
to the cheeks nor the lips.
One cannot risk a half-shut eye,
Nor a lopsided smile.

You laugh at my stories,
Stories of a woman past forty,
Stories of fear for aging signs.

You listen and smile,
A young man at the noontime of his life,
Blurting words of affection
As magical as botox.

All at once,
The heart
Is wrinkle-free.