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The Invention of Heaven by Dean Young

Where I live, we have a home development mutual fund that everybody calls, Pag-IBIG. It’s an acronym for Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko Industriya at Gobyerno (Working Together for the Future: You, Industrial Banks and the Government – my translation, don’t quote me on this). It has several branches/offices scattered across the metro, which means jeepneys include it as one of their stops. A while ago, N. was tweeting during the commute, and said this:

I like it when people go down at pag-ibig fund bldg.they say:isang pag-ibig,pag-ibig lang,sa pag-ibig,etc.

(I like it when people go down at [the] Pag-IBIG fund building. They say [to the driver]: one person stopping at Pag-IBIG, just until Pag-IBIG, to Pag-IBIG, etc.)

In our native tongue, pag-ibig means love.

Thinking about Dean Young’s heart, and my heart, and other writers’ hearts.

The Invention of Heaven
Dean Young

The mind becomes a field of snow
but then the snow melts and the dandelions
blink on and you can walk through them,
your trousers plastered with dew.
They’re all waiting for you but first
here’s a booth where you can win

a peacock feather for bursting a balloon,
a man in huge stripes shouting about
a boy who is half swan, the biggest
pig in the world. Then you will pass
tractors pulling other tractors,
trees snagged with bright wrappers

and then you will come to a river
and then you will wash your face.

Comments (1)

  • bryce morgan

    can someone tell me what this poem means?


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