Her Face and His Fist
Soak in a pint of water
gill of white rice.
Hour after, sift the froth
and set aside.
Into a clay pot,
measure another
then pestle into powder.
 
With the rice froth,
her long-chinned face she washed

from the tears she bathed in last night.
Then after, with the rice powder,
pressed white the black bruise around her eye.

Sift the concocted roselle bulbs
first steeped in lemon
and honeycomb.
Use to paint few strips
of wood pulp paper.

A damp of water on her lips
then press a tinted paper in between -

a streak of deep red it'd leave.
Sadly, that later again tonight,
A thick- knuckled wrist, she'd unwillingly kiss.

Mince to thin strips
ten yellow bulbs of safflower.
Boil in hot water
and add olive oil. 
Sift with cheesecloth.
Squeeze and let the juice
fill a small ceramic saucer.
 
On her left shaky hand is the saucer.        
The wax she traced with her right fingers,
then gently  sweep 'em on her cheeks -
now popping out red and rich.

Her broken mottled skin's now underneath.

Violence against women in the Philippines is branded as “epidemic” and is an urgent situation. In 2008, the National Demographic and Health Survey reported one in five women has experienced physical violence. This number, however, could be higher since there are victims who opt to remain silent and not to file complaints – especially the rape victims.

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4 thoughts on “Her Face and His Fist

  1. I’ve been a victim of violence. I’ve survived the pain of that fist that clenched the walls of my cheek. It’s more common that some wish to think. But it’s true, every so sadly true.This was a GREAT poetic expression of the pain that hides behind the bruise. Epic.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you’d been through violence and it’s saddening that many other women from the different corners of the world could be struggling with the same experience.
      How are you? I pray that you are doing well and feeling just great now 🙂

  2. It’s such a sad poem and you made it incredibly visual too. Good job! I love how it sort of sounds like a recipe too. A very heart-wrenching recipe though.

    Violence against women needs to end. I wrote about violence against women in Japan and social workers would tell women to ‘deal with it’ because it was THAT common. Thank you for writing this lovely poem as usual. Looking forward to more! I love them.

    1. At first, I just thought of writing about traditional makeup in Asia. But then I realized that violence against women is an age-old problem that probably could be traced back to the earliest civilization.

      I’m happy to find out that you wrote about the same issue. But I’m also sad that there is this issue to write about. 🙁

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