As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Barbara Jane Reyes – Poetry

To Spit Fire


We spit fire girl, we golden in the breath

We palabra, Pinay, know that we legit


We speak our piece; in the letting, rejoice

We file our fangs, girl, we got to bite down


We loosen our grip, we widen our sight

We street smart, whip smart; word is our bond


We diwa, Pinay, our psalms be our salt

We diva, diwata; our voices, for real


We badass, we deep; our birthright, our roar

We surge and swell, sing holy and sutra


We cut, snap, strike; we no damn hot air

We handle ourselves, we our own, we be


We say our names, we say no, we say no

We spit fire girl, we golden, we got this

Barbara Reyes HeadShotBarbara Jane Reyes is the author of Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2010), winner of theGlobal Filipino Literary Award for Poetry and a finalist for the California Book Award. She was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Gravities of Center(Arkipelago Books, 2003) and Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. She is also the author of the chapbooks Easter Sunday (Ypolita Press, 2008) Cherry (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2008), and For the City that Nearly Broke Me (Aztlan Libre Press, 2012).

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