When beauty is in scarce

i sit in front of the mirror

beside me are my precious possessions

a bottle of romantic wish I owed from my friend

lip and cheek tint from sister Lucia

a L’Oreal foundation I asked through a rich, real estate broker friend of mine

a set of make up given by my pamangkin from Las Vegas

(in which all of her other Tita’s were also given)

she sent last month through a balikbayan box

and a manicure kit I haggled at Bankerohan public market with my younger daughter

here i am, plucking my eyebrows with my rusty puller

which I bring with me since my college days

my eyes drop a tear every time I pluck these tiny hairs, one by one

“what color should I wear today?,” I ask my younger daughter

“violet nay,” she answers me swiftly

“okay, then get that violet spaghetti strap for me

located beside the pink T-shirt you gave me last year during my 50th birthday”,

I feel the cotton on my hand,

the smooth hands of my younger daughter,

her smell, as she serves as my window to the world

I have an occasion tonight

“Si nanay uie, you’re already old enough to be treated like a kid,” my younger daughter complains

as she slowly leaves the room for a call

when shall I ever see the bright colors on my make-up kit,

the smile on my younger daughter’s face,

these precious possessions I only have,

when the object I could only see

is the perceived beauty

I have been always seeing

in my dreams—



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