by Kaya Lattimore

Image credit: Kaya Lattimore


Uli (Cebuano, v.): to go home; to restore; to reconcile; to go back; to recover

i.        go home

          go back to where you came from
                    i come from              here
                    from           the sea
                              the soil       and the sky
                    from a single breath                an
                                        outstretched hand
                    and i am       born anew
                              every day

ii.      restore

          once      the ocean
                    was an empty basin
          my hand      the dipper
                    that filled it
          i too    belong to water
          i too    am made of salt

iii.     reconcile

          is the       wound       i give you
                    the only       mark
                    i leave       behind
          time will render me        a scar
          language becomes      a stand-in
                    for the sun on my skin
                          the red i bleed
                    i ask god     for healing
              all i’m given      is forgetting

iv.      return

          going back
          implies something
                          to go back to
          implies         a place standing
                          still        waiting
          for me         implies       a me
          still         solid and whole       unchanged
                                 implies that i am not
          become ghost or adult or otherwise
                    affected       by          time

v.       recover

          noun. a feeling of longing for
          one’s home during a period of
          absence from it or
          a longing to return home
                    a place to call home that exists
                                  outside this body,
                                  outside this ache that makes
                                  and remakes me

vi.     go home

          where is home
                    i have lost       the threads
                              that bind me
                    the earth beneath my feet
                              is soft        as cotton
                    like sweat       i      evaporate


Kaya Lattimore was born in Hobart, raised in the Philippines, and now lives in Canberra. As a person of mixed ethnicity, her identity has been questioned by other all her life. Kaya write to express, explore and ultimately reclaim all facets of her identity and lived experience.