Category: Poetry


Birth


The sound of the chisel against these iron bars

Is tick-tock-tick-tock

Our meet-cute is a forty-minute cab ride away

Yet I remain imprisoned.

These metal arms that long embraced me

Have gained the warmth that my intent

Could never extract from your arms.

The sound of metal on metal

Keeps bouncing on my head

And sends me rocking forth and back

Like a baby.

 

This cell of anonymity is the womb that bears

My unborn love for you.

Why must it face the sun?

Why must it let out a cry?

Why must it be severed from the life-giving bosom?

 

My love is a parasite.

It must latch on.

 

Destiny contracts.

Stronger and shorter in between.

Flesh and blood are the delicate

Tendrils that root me in imagination.

 

Time and the tide of my emotion

Will thrust me into reality–

 

Stillborn.

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The Endless


Time has no purpose but to mark the steps

To show the forward motion

To give context to the journey

To this familiar nowhere called Us.

 

Maybe the feet know to go

Where your footsteps have left their warmth.

Maybe the center of my gravity

Is in the core of Was-just-here.

 

Maybe the heart is just too used

To being left behind

In the Almost.

 

In the ocean of Where-you-were,

The limestone cliffs of What-we-could-have-been

Shine like a beacon for my storm-tossed soul.

The crashing waves become hands upon my cradle

Drawing on this sleep,

Never ending this dream.

 

Our “here” just keeps on drifting beyond reach.

We never are and can never be, only

 

Might

Remains to move me.

 

 

The Comeback


Sometimes I think I’ve gone too far

away from you

That I’m back where I started–

Right behind you.

If only your memory were a corpse

Buried in the ground,

And I never had a shovel

Or pick

Or spoon

Or hands-

Then there would be no nights like this.

 

But you’re a seed,

That turned into a tree

And you know how I just can’t

Resist the shade.

And you bore fruit

And I ate them all

And spat out the pits.

 

Maybe if I just kept still–

 

Maybe if I destroyed you–

 

Maybe if you just stopped mattering

And I stopped muttering

We start happening

And I stop hoping.

 

Then I’d see that the seed

Was a weed

And the fruits were all spiney.

 

That would be as far

Enough to get past you

So you can be where you need to–

Behind me.

Drugs


Move with ease, the heart contains a thunderbolt: exciteable and exciting and exacting like Zeus’ cleaver.

It draws a void across my heart to bring you forth– my half, my other, myocardia.

Let the zephyr of my daydreams take you away, the nights in my day, permanent fantasy.

I will steal fire and let it burn on my hand to light you up, my forbidden man.

I blaze.
I glow.
I ash
And disappear

Goodnights


The wind machine drones off into a lullaby
and my weary eyes have met the force of gravity.

Your image is projected on my eyelids

and my mind knows it will find no sleep.

You ask me why i never lay beside you,
why i never lie at all.

And i know you know it’s for fear of dreaming,
because awake we do live on.

I crave your every meaningless expression–
The affected effort to touch my heart.

The words uttered with
meaning escaping,

and leaving the nasal baritone as proof.

You do have eyes for me.

And your mouth and feet,
they seem to follow.

Never your hands.

And never my eyes.

You stand ever so close,
Fists clenched.
And i stay
Eyes unflinched.


As we lay on the grass,
your belly was my pillow.
I was reminiscing
as you checked on the news.
The sky was that in-between color of cold pink,
little particles of water vapor vex and touch us randomly-
stirring a wariness of a hesitant drizzle.

Your breath is steady
while mine is drowned in the sound of you,
the feel of every blade of grass,
tasting my skin through my clothes.

Now, I do not care for the filth.
I do not care for the myriad footsteps that trampled our bed.
I do not care for the
waste of pleasures consumed,
of moments stolen
and light beams evaded.

I see the past,
yes,
and how blurry it is
through my myopic memory.

The stars themselves could not decide
whether to shine or fade.
They twinkle,
like your eyes and mine.
They zoom,
however steady in the sky.
And they each hold a wish for you and me.
A promise once only
hung upon a tree.

Is the earth exhaling or is the sky breathing down on us?
Is the world turning
or do we drive it around?
Is that not my heart beating in your chest?
Is this not your warmth kindling my breast?

It could be night fall,
the crickets have assured it.
But it is only dawn.

And you are with me.

FETUS


All but love curls up into a ball
And bounces around you.
Red and light like a slightly heavy balloon
That bursts with deliberateness.

My fingers are restless:
Today, I drew a sad boy
In shades of black and dots of white-
For contrast.

All in the name of being your missus.
Missus my surname hyphen your surname.
Hyphens become demeaning,
Like a prolonged negative sign.

It is the eve of Christmas
And a turkey is roasting
In my imaginary womb,
Stuffing stuffing the turkey stuffing me.

And you, the proud father,
Wait across my virtual vagina
With anticipation
And of course, a carving knife.

I wheeze-wheeze-wheeeeze
As you cheer me on
Simultaneously salivating
And feeling light in the head.

One great push
And my foot skims hell.
I am ripped apart
And bring forth your feast.

The turkey is burnt
With dots of white- for contrast.
Today, you eat a sad boy.
His fingers are bitter.

The red ball bounces around you
And explodes with deliberateness.
Like a slightly heavy balloon,
Love curls up into a ball.

On This Day


IN MEMORY OF JO, THE MAN WHO SHOWED TRUE LOVE.

On this day,
I move my sight
To the paths of sunlight
That dance upon your skin.

They light the narrow way
Towards the place that you promised,
That universe where you are
Waiting for me.

On this day,
I set aside the times I missed
To carry you
Through the dark valley that you tread.

Instead,
I reminisce our splashing
On the shores of love,
In the pursuit of that idea we hoped to find in each other.

On this day,
I capture the warmth of the morning
Which are, no doubt, your arms
Keeping my corroding heart together.

It brings hope alive
In my heart, your souvenir,
An offering of your love
That knows neither death nor time.

On this day,
I unravel the garland
Of teardrops that flowed
With your demise.

Its absence is replaced
By a peaceful smile
That I crown upon your head
Like a halo to a saint.

When you left me once,
My soul was empty.
As you leave at last,
True love has found me.

—————————

This piece is translated from an original in Filipino

Ngayong Araw

Ngayong araw,
Binabaling ko ang aking paningin
sa mga pilapil ng sinag-araw
Na sumasayaw sa iyong katawan.

Sinisindihan nila ang makipot na daan
Patungo sa lugar na pinangako mo,
Sa lugar kung saan ka naroroon,
Hinihintay ako.

Ngayong araw,
Isinasantabi ko ang naudlot na pagkakataong,
Akayin ka,
Sa madilim na lambak na iyong tinahak.

Sa halip,
Sasariwain ko ang ating pagtatampisaw
Sa tabing-dagat ng pagmamahalan,
Sa kapwa paghabol sa hinagap na inasahang mahanap sa isa’t isa.

Ngayong araw,
Sinasambot ko ang init ng umaga
Na walang dudang mga bisig mong
Yumayapos sa nauupos kong puso.

Pinauusbong nito ang pag-asa
Sa aking puso, alaala mo,
Biyayang pinagkaloob ng pag-ibig mong
Walang pagpanaw o panahon.

Ngayong araw,
Tinatastas ko ang kuwintas ng
Mga butil ng luhang umagos
Sabay ng iyong pagkawala.

Hinahalinhinan ko ito ng
Isang payapang ngiti
Na ipinuputong ko sa iyong ulo
Gaya ng isang santo.

Noong una mo akong iniwan,
Nakaramdam ako ng kawalan.
Sa iyong muling paglisan,
Tunay na pag-ibig ang natagpuan.

Click!

Split-Second


 

Meanwhile, the chest reaches its peak before a sigh
Meanwhile, a dinosaur discovers that it has the highest tolerance for the cold
Meanwhile, the little girl takes care not to hit her face as she gets off the lower end of the seesaw
Meanwhile, the letter “x” lingers against the ribbon of the typewriter
Meanwhile, two minute molecules test the limit of coherence
Meanwhile, the tip of the lady’s tongue presses against the back of her front teeth as she prepares to respond to the man on his knees
Meanwhile, the image on the mirror begins to multiply before sound is formed
Meanwhile, the droplets of water vapor break their surfaces and merge
To form the rain reflected in my eyes
Meanwhile, you move from remembered to forgotten.

Click!

Ang Paraan Patungo sa Aking Puso


Ang paraan patungo sa aking puso
Ay madali.
Nagsisimula ito sa isang hakbang
Palayo.
Hinihila ito ng bigat,
Di gaya ng dinudulot ng mundo
Sa patak ng ulan,
Kundi ng sabaw
Sa kumakalam na tiyan.
Walang hinihintay na atang
Ang aking pag-ibig.
Bagkus, nabubuhay ito
Sa kahungkagan,
Sa iyong waring di-pagpansin,
Sa iyong pagsasawalang-bahala.
Ang damdamin ko’y di rosas
Na malamyos,
Na bumubukadkad
Sa pagtatalik ng hamog at sinag-araw.
Ito’y isang damong-ligaw
Na kusang umuusbong,
Nakikiapid,

Pumapatay.

Ang paraan patungo sa aking puso
Ay madali.
Ang paraan palayo
Ang may kahirapan.