“River Peace” by Alexa Tajanlangit2 min read

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Illustration by Christina Tran

Radicalization was sitting at the edge of a bathhouse, wading water just warm enough on the skin.

With my elbows sprawled behind me, head tilted back, I soaked in the familiarity of my roots as my
minds’ eye drifts to rice and meat simmering on the cast-iron pan while tired hands groan their
servitude song—Mama’s sacrifice rips open my heart while lighting my feet on fire. At the cross
yearnings are my Daddy’s lifeline. Always gospel, always God. Preacher’s exaggerated cadence makes
me want to crack the Bose speakers with my hatchet of broken promises, just before mending the
remnants with sweet scripture, words which once managed to flood my soul with river peace.

When did your protection begin to feel like suffocation? In the choking mist I wandered, the
cinderblocks of my greatest griefs cut through my ankles as the weight of knowing poured like blood on
sacred ground. I gazed up toward Heaven, asking God where they were the entire time. My voice
echoed back like a pendulum, then I understood.



Alexa Tajanlangit (she/her) is a Filipina-Canadian writer based in Toronto. She graduated from U of T with a BA in in Book and Media Studies and History and works at Penguin Random House Canada. Her favourite past times include engrossing herself in epic romantasy books, using her notes app and food. Her poetry can be found on IG @literaryalexa.

Christina Tran is a graphic designer and illustrator focused on the art of storytelling through the combination of bold imagery and conceptual thinking. As a Graphic Design for Marketing graduate from the Wilson School of Design, she has received honourable mentions and a scholarship for her student project: Northeast: A Digital Guide to Chinese-Canadian History. To see more of her work, her portfolio is available at christinaktran.ca.

1 comment

Marilou 8 January, 2024 - 6:44 am

So deep thoughts and inspiring.


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