Almost March Equinox

My body clings on to the birched breath
of the colourless February. Tail end of winter

solstice in another land not ours, the end
we have all been waiting for — a rite

of passage that leads to new beginnings.
Whenever I mix this much love

(until there is nothing much to love
other than myself) on to the palette

with drops of ochre and green
and sunflower leaves, to paint

an equinox, I have learned that
stars are always the first things

to die in this universe. Did you know?
that there is nothing as brutal

as replacement: the skin you inhabit
is no longer yours. This is what it feels

like to be on the receiving end
of a blade — you try to keep your head

above water. Even when there is
nothing to reach for anymore

in the morning: when everybody is born
whole before they spend a lifetime

hollowing out.

Jeff William Acosta is a poet from Ilocos Sur, Philippines. He is a co-winner of the Sahaya: Timpalak Pampanitikan (STP) 2021 ng UP Sentro ng Wikang Filipino-Diliman, a 2021 Jack Grapes Poetry semi-finalist and a Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest semi-finalist. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Boston Review, 聲韻詩刊 Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, The Dark Horse, Matter Press, The Margins, Kritika Kultura, Philippines Graphic and elsewhere. More: