Review: Melissa Sipin’s “What Comes from Silence”

I have a special place in my heart for Pina/xys who are fierce in their tenderness. This is what Melissa Sipin’s writing represents to me. How strong do you have to be to tear your heart out then stake it to your sleeve? Pretty damn strong; that’s a lot of flesh and bone to tear through just to bare the source of your pulse.

What Comes from Silence” is an essay that tears through silence to expose the tenderness of what Sipin calls saudade. Saudade: “a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing,” a “deep emptiness that does not want to be spilled.” “What Comes from Silence” is an ambivalent ode to saudade, a testament to both the suffering and the gifts that come from grief.

Sipin shows the reader the source of her saudade through her fragmented memories as an unmothered child. She writes of scant photos of her as a baby, snapshots of her mother holding her with anxiety and a crinkled nose that suggests disgust. Of the scant visits after her mother leaves. Of the condoms thrown at Sipin and her sister when they are only eight and ten years old.

***

Read the full review at the #AllPinayEverything blog curated by Barbara Jane Reyes