One or Incomplete

By Nancy Mungcal

We were one

or incomplete.

Numbers didn’t matter

and those that

said they did

weren’t to be

relied upon.

Our strength

wasn’t in those

figures compiled

but in conviction,

in spirit,

in determination

and in love.

We were one

or incomplete.

The same color

or shades of

or opposite.

They pointed out

our differences

and made us

mark on

applications,

on surveys.

We were naked

With no borders left.

Written on our bodies

what we claimed

for ourselves.

Pain was pain

in any language.

Heartache didn’t

choose by color or gender.

We had new stories

to write.

The old ones no

longer served us.

And we pledged no allegiance

to false prophets.

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