All-American Heartthrob

a daughter picks up the latest edition of Teen Girl Magazine

off the side of the grocery aisle that sits right next to check out, 

because she stakes her life 

on fortuitous serendipity. That is to say, by lucky encounters, 

chance happenings, 

and her mother throwing a dart 

on the world map of her daughter’s father

’s bedroom wall. with hope

that it lands 

in an abode somewhere. 


      Refuge, and Rejoice. 

      Reason, and

      Rearing. Ration, and


      through houses copy-pasted and American

      flags perched and white 

      wooden window sills

a daughter runs to her room and reads 

The magazine cover: 5 Best All-American Heartthrobs, 

Ranked. Mom hears a squeal from down the hall

joy that leaps through

their baseball-white walls

she opens to page 12 to where the rankings begin 

where this girl scout searches for her next badge in


Dear my All-American man,

Please feed me lumpia, like a servant with grapes to his queen-me. You will have to  appreciate your in-laws in Rizal before we see your members in Manila. Please twist the fork an extra! two times when scooping up pancit before bringing music to my mouth. And don’t be insecure, I will love your jet black hair and how it brings out your dark moonlight eyes that sparkle as brown as mine. I hope to find you at my debut in a Barong you fill in more than nicely, teasing the silk buttons and the seams at your chest that hides your tan underneath.


Your All-American darling

5, 4, 3, 2, they’re all the same. 

4. looked like your neighbor Johnny, 

2. had green eyes instead of blue.

But all the same. All American.


1. Oh, 

all American.