• Lammergeier Staff

June in Manila | Krysta Frost


Summer and sunset

in a country without seasons


and I want to be a machine 

that works all year. I mourn December,


what would have been winter,

blur and thrash of my body you nearly 


threw out of the car. My screams sharp and

hollow, throat serrating on an empty threat.


I swallowed the spit of paranoia,

a bitter pill singeing the stomach.


It got my mind: what I knew to be true

blighted by a fever of impressions,


the incongruence of fear

and what bodies displace it.


How cruel that you stayed

when I foresaw otherwise. 


Love a heat turned up too slow

for the violence I surmised.  


Now, I’ve forgotten how snow fell

in the country of my birth,


the urgency of autumn, the ache

of my bones in simulated warmth.


Here, the heat is at its peak,

and love is languid. The air docile


to what water does to it,

something like tenderness


to the ruthlessness of rain

purging the streets, the grease


of the city rainbowing 

at our feet. I want that grace,


compact myself all the colors

that I am or know I can be.


Someday I’ll forget this summer

in Manila, sweat beading


our foreheads glorious when the AC

cut out in the car, the three hours it took


to pass through one city, the stop-and-go

of your foot on the gas that seemed


seamless to me in the passenger seat.

Your discipline to make this work


and all my tricks to undo it, our staccato

entrance into summer’s long yawn,


the blue chasing the rearview 

almost perfect.





Krysta Lee Frost is a mixed race Filipino American poet who halves her life between the Philippines and the United States. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming inThe Margins,Berkeley Poetry Review,Entropywildness, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines Diliman.


Instagram: @kryleef

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