The Warming

Bino A. Realuyo
| poetry


A blizzard wraps me in white shapes, white lies.

Uprooted too soon, I seek omen in a bed of white earth.


My mother once said, Go and find where and who

you are. Go and search for rebels in the void.


Countless places, countless truths, the thrill of leaving

one’s circle to find the longest way back to the dark.


I was never told that blood warms at the emergence

of new tellings. Each time I leave a dying god’s country,


my blood thickens from the smell of found freedoms.

My light, buried in the sand, unravels waves of old truths.


Messages in bottles on the rising seas but not one read.

I had my chest tattooed to mark my final departure


from a world where we see only what we want to see.

They will never know what happened to Tuvalu.





[The people of the islands of Tuvalu, situated between Hawaii and Australia, were the first refugees of climate change.]

Bino A. Realuyo is the author of The Gods We Worship Live Next Door (Agha Shahid Ali Prize for Poetry, 2005). His poetry has appeared in The Nation, The Kenyon Review, ZYZZYVA, North American Review, The Literary Review, New American Writing, and The Common, among others. He has recently completed his second poetry manuscript, titled #TheRebelSonnets.

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