Rachelle Cruz and Melissa Roxas with poems up at Poetas y Diwatas, guest edited by Barbara Jane Reyes. Read their work at The Bakery!

Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California. She is the author of the chapbook, Self-Portrait as Rumor and Blood (Dancing Girl Press,2012). Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in Bone Bouquet, PANK Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Splinter Generation, KCET’s Departures Series, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, among others. She hosts The Blood-Jet Writing Hour on Blog Talk Radio. An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives and writes in Southern California.


My Imelda Marcos
after Margaret Rhee

O, Imelda Marcos, I wear your hair like a woven flag of sharp stars and bees. Something I can’t touch.


Click here to read more of Rachelle's poetry.


Melissa Roxas is a poet, health worker, and human rights activist. For over fifteen years she has done community and social justice work in the United States and in the Philippines. She is a co-founder of Habi Arts, a Los Angeles-based cultural organization dedicated to promoting community empowerment and social justice through the arts.

Melissa is a survivor of enforced disappearance and torture by the Philippine military. While conducting health care work in the Philippines on May 19, 2009, she was abducted at gunpoint and held in secret detention in a Philippine military camp and tortured for six days. Melissa continues to write and speak out against human rights violations and to demand justice for victims all over the world.


Light the Bonefire

for Raymond Manalo

Wood lights a fire within the body.

And yes,

there is ash before the burning.


Click here to read more of Melissa's poetry.