Craig Santos Perez


ginen the micronesian kingfisher [i sihek]


[our] nightmare : no
birdsong —
the jungle was riven emptied
of [i sihek] bright blue green turquoise red gold
feathers — everywhere : brown
tree snakes avian
silence —

the snakes entered
without words when [we] saw them it was too late —
they were at [our] doors sliding along
the passages of [i sihek]
empire — then

ginen tidelands [latte stone park] [hagåtña, guåhan]

The fallen Latte is the sign. It is from within the row of Latte that
we feel our strength. It is the severed capstone that gives us Their
message, "Ti monhayon I che'cho." We will not rest until the
Latte is whole.

— Cecilia C. T. Perez from "Signs of Being: A Chamoru
Spiritual Journey" (1997)


i haligi
a pillar

i tasa
a capstone

i tataotao
a body


his hands —
husk coconut —

cooks and
feeds [us] —

stories — this
raised house —

at quarry
outline forms