(For Melissa Roxas, Filipino-American activist)

They thought they had broken her.
They thought that what she saw,
what she heard,
what she felt
as they put her in a four-cornered hell
would stay there after she left.
They thought they had so battered her flesh
as to bruise even her spirit.
They thought they had broken her.

But break her they didn’t.
She broke her silence,
even as speaking the words was like breaking free
from the grip of five monsters —
for she knows that to stay silent
is to let so many other similar stories of horror
remain behind the closed doors
of four-cornered hells.

Alexander Martin Remollino

Alexander Martin Remollino was Tinig.com's associate editor. He was a poet, essayist, and journalist. He also wrote some short fiction.

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