Brief Selection of Work

“When I first learned of my grandmother’s capture in World War II, it was at her funeral. One of her sisters, the many matriarchs of the Dulay clan and my grand aunt, stopped the processional and confessed details about my own grandmother’s life—my adoptive mother—I did not know. I felt it in my body. The shellshock. The inaudible confusion. I felt in it my bones, my genes, in memories that I do not own but somehow inherited. The term is epigenetics: what your ancestors suffered or survived years before somehow has a direct effect on you, outside of your genes.

They say if your grandmother survived a war, what she survived or suffered through leaves an indelible mark outside your genes, an epigenetic expression, and thus affects how certain cells are translated. Here is a fact: “Studies have shown that children born during the period of the Dutch famine from 1944-1945 have increased rates of coronary heart disease and obesity after maternal exposure to famine during early pregnancy compared to those not exposed to famine.” (What Is Epigenetics?)

The offspring of the Hongerwinter had their metabolic cells shifted because of what their parents went through, and even their offspring had those same indelible effects on their metabolic cells. Which is to say: trauma is inherited, even if one does not remember the famine.”

— “NOTES ON SURVIVING RESEARCHING A FAMILIAL/HISTORICAL NOVEL,”
in Eliza So Fellowship Submittable (2017)


 


Filipineza doesn’t mean “servant”:
Notes of witness from an immigrant daughter,”
in Salon



TAYO Literary Magazine
and Kuwento: Lost Things

TAYO Issue 5_FrontCover_Front Cover     Print

Selected Excerpts below:


“Saudade,” “My Lola, the River,” and “Saudade II,”
in Black Warrior Review

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“This First Breath,” Winner of Flash Fiction Prize (2015)
in Washington Square Review

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“Walang Hiya, Brother,” Winner of Fiction Open (2013)
in Glimmer Train Stories

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“Dead Girl in the Bed,” in Day One


“Mercy,” in Guernica Magazine


“How to Leave Familia,” in [PANK]

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“What Comes from Silence,” in Midnight Breakfast


“Scorched-Earth,” in Guernica/PEN Flash Series

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“Dying Down in the Heart,” in Aster(ix) Journal


[ More selections of Melissa’s work ]

“They Call Us Resilient,” Center of Art + Thought
“Against Explanation,” Twelfth House
“The Childhood Field No Longer There,” Eleven Eleven Magazine
Poems, The Bakery