AN OFF-ISLAND CHAMORU LISTENS TO “BENTE UNO YU’ GI PRESU” BY MARIANAS HOMEGROWN AND WRITES ABOUT GUILT
By Sydney Blas
Beige yellow walls trapping us in with white tiles holding our ankles. Begging us not to go. The only bright colors we could see were beyond the windows or on the light that trickled off my grandparents’ skin. Deep amber hues and occasional tears that made their homes in the wrinkles of their cheeks. The sound of the plane lifting off — it groaned and ached and trembled, choked.
The first thing we felt was wind. Who shakes in 70 degree weather except islanders? Our bodies were latte stones, pillaring and holding their weight against what felt like a push towards home. My red nose could only sense the crisp, cold silver air and indigo hearts huddled together in the minivan. When we arrived, our apartment walls were painted mahogany, gray like pewter, and each room held porcelain. I made sure not to stand too close.
White porcelain contrasts amber, gold — and I remembered shame. It wasn’t because I was full of tears, but maybe the lemon tree in the school garden was the only person I was excited to see. Broken fragments of time; eating breaded chicken strips on styrofoam consuming grief of an island. I wondered what my friends were doing at home, the coconut trees and latte stones.
My memory is grainy.
a peak wind at dawn
throwing stones at our moon’s eye
be good to the self