Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020


Photograph via Flickr by Didier Baertschiger

“Bokabularyo” by Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles translated as “Vocabulary” from Filipino by Kristine Ong Muslim

Nothing, you say

in the language of your hunger
to always create, to repeat yourself. You constantly need to

reiterate nothing

in your vocabulary
so that you won’t forget to remember having repeated

your word
Come, eat

the word
greater than your hunger



Wala, wika mo

sa bokabularyo ng iyong gutom
sa paglikha tuwina, ang ulitin ang sarili. Kailangan ulit

-ulitin ang wala

sa iyong bokabularyo
upang hindi malimot maalalang inuulit

ang sariling salita
Halika, kainin

ang salitang higit
malaki sa iyong gutom


Note: The Filipino original appeared in Guwang (High Chair, 2013).