Lessons on Chores


by Noeme Grace C. Tabor-Farjani


We live in times of overflow: Ego emerges like worms, wiggling out of
mire and dire. Invisibleness now made more manifest.

We live in times of deficit: Humility parades itself on photos for
everyone to see. But is it truly there? Or is the futility of words, the
emptiness of many proud cups, the filtered photos blurring all that is
real, only plain setting of foodless feasts and poisoned drinks?

For longing takes on garments of many colors that cannot save itself
from fire. So much for embellishments, verbosity, grandeur,
delusions, and the mockery of them.

I spread my passions down like a bed of grass, a carpet of this earth.
Replace the hug, the kiss, the touch, the hand to hold, the quiet warm
body that knows the meaning of your wordlessness.

Until then, our longings settle in the fancies onscreen.




Noeme Grace C. Tabor-Farjani has authored Letters from Libya, a chapbook of short memoirs about her family’s escape from the Second Libyan Civil War in 2014. In 2018, she successfully defended her PhD dissertation in creative writing pedagogy. In between gardening and yoga, she teaches literature and humanities at the high school level in the Philippines.  Varada J.M. is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.

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