What were you thinking, striking the cleaver into a bitch raised in hell like that? Who sings honeyed dirges for the dead while their warm hands make love with someone else’s warm hands? Why are you at my tombstone, smiling with a three-faced woman in a red dress? Did you know that you died more times in me? Did you know that to kill love is to drag a body and a canister of unsent letters to a graveyard every night, only to perform a reincarnation ritual after unfolding the paper’s creases? Did you know I spent half a year as your mortician that everything I touched smelled like your corpse? Did you know that a caged bird can still build a pyre? And did you know you can only kill it once because once the phoenix rises, it sears everything to ashes - you, your cleaver, your red woman, and your hard want to kill again?
Gretchen resides in the chaotic comforts of the Philippines, where she writes poems and creative nonfiction about motherhood, love, grief, nature, and intersectionalities. A finalist in phoebe’s 2023 Spring Poetry Contest and second place in Navigator’s Around the World in 80 Pages 2017 Travel Writing Competition, her work appears in Rappler, Door Is A Jar, phoebe, Maudlin House, Defunkt, and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @gretchenfilart, or on her website at ourworldinwords.com.