Enamored

There he was,
In his vividly printed top and pressed trousers
Beaming like crazy
And minds have never been more visionary

There he smiles,
A breathing myth, a folklore
And hearts suddenly touched each other in places
where none has touched before

There he walks,
A knight with no sword, nor rose
But eyes, certainly, have never seen a star this close

And there he goes, he holds my hand
And time, for once, came to rest, instead of run

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Tounge-tied

Sometimes,
words I should be telling you
are suspended
at the tip of my tongue

So when you ask me
“what’s wrong?”
I can only make out
the easy
“nothing”

And the words
you didn’t hear
died in my lips
and aged with time

I have grown a forest
out of the things
I didn’t tell
and if you listen well
you’ll hear the rain
came from the
questions you never ask
and the weight
drags on every day
that you’ll find my smile
prepared to break
set to die

You see,
when words left
Silence knocked
and asked me
to pack my bags
and let go

but you said
“stay”
and
“please, let’s fix this”
and
“listen to me”

I knew I have to throw this away
I should let go
I knew I have to leave
but
Sometimes,
words
I should be telling you
are suspended
at the tip of
my tongue

The old warrior’s cry

Perchance, it was a dream.

We were flesh and cheeks, decades ago

Marched the land with mud in our boots,

Courage in our faces and loyalty in our chests

Slinged our bolos and guns to protect Perlas and its people

from the life-stealing villains lurking in the day

We perished from blood to bones

with an oath in our lips

“Get up, Stand up”

against the fiend.

Perhaps it is a dream.

We, tired and rotting bones,

who fought to defend Perlas with all our courage,

peaceful for years in our graveyard,

still aching but consolable

We, tired and rotting bones,

were shattered

when the man who spilled the blood of the innocents,

destroyed their homes,

left their bodies for the reaper,

came and lived with us.

Ferdinand

now sleeps in our home.

Wish it’s just a dream

The tired and dead bones we are, 

embrace the old fighters pain

Singing of our wounds,

scars, stings and shocks

Some bodies heard

and they sing with us.

But more bodies don’t.

They sing louder of his glory and wisdom

and chant deeper of contempt.

It is easy to turn a blind eye 

when you were never hurt.

It is difficult to heal when 

you suffered the whips and whacks,

when your children are all missing skeletons,

when the countrymen you fought and died  for

glorify its killer

Perhaps he deserves sympathy.

Perhaps he deserves rest.

But don’t we?

The Purge

On the margins of the night,
come hear the fireworks from the guns,
empty shells in the cold roads
warmed by the blood in the streets.

These are the nights of the purge,
A stranger clothe with darkness touches
the open windows,
the light posts and damp houses
Speeds through the alleys in the blaze of his hunger
His eyeballs, a hint of command and evil
His hands, heavy with ammunition,
Gigantic and calloused,
Ready for assault.

Dinner was served in a house with empty flowerpots,
where the wheels sleep on the roof
A lady dressed the table with dried fish
waiting with disconnection notice in one hand,
distress in another
Her three little girls taking shelter
under the safety of their camp
made of threadbare blankets,
maybe it covers the pouring troubles

The watchman just finished his shift and
walks past the corner of the street,
weary with his clobbered beard and wrinkled eyes,
past the shadows and silhouettes of bakeshops,
past the shoeless shoemakers,
across the lonely intersection,
To the alley of houses damped with sweat and tears of
pauperized folks,

He knocks on the door,
the lady stared long at his eyes
and his back that carries the weight of disappointment
Sighs when he saw the notice sitting in the table
Nine more moons before the next pay

The God sits next to the television,
a Sampaguita hangs on His fingers
and the guard sat in the couch
His body mirrored in the window

The long night awakens the spirit of the stranger
He saw the prey across the open window
He raised his iron hands towards the target
and bang, bang, bang!
The silence shies away
The cartridge gave away three bullets
Two shots in the back, one in the head
and the moon cries

Bullet casings dropped on the dirt
The blood stains the couch where a body sat lifeless,
The sound of the lady mourning
And soon, hundreds of lips talking

“A drug suspect was slain” the man in the television says

“He is innocent,” the mourners wept

“Another man shot dead”

“In other news…”

His is a little death, nameless and forgotten,
His is just a number added to the names of the dead
a stone in a cemetery
a drug war’s sacrifice in this confused humanity
The country will lament him no longer and
In the morning, another cry will come
but the evening will take it away
Just like that

Whatever took hold of the man will always be remembered by the air
And when the trumpets had all sounded, judgment will stand tall.

 

 

The stranger barrels past the trash bins,
past the road signs
and the dying plants held in the water containers.
In the dirt, a badge was recovered.

 

How can I love thee

Oh love with bright eyes,

I come with hands empty — only

eyelashes, cheeks, and arms

brimming with hopes and dreams

hopes like fluttering butterflies

and dreams like knights and horsemen,

with courage but swords.

Only with these little hands can I love you

with coffeepots and teacups

with rain-soaked skin and dusty floors

with paw prints of  dogs

Only with songs of the stars can i love you

I paddled to the shores of the stellar

brought home

a pocketful of Tinkerbell’s dust and

a handful of Peter’s never land to give you

 

Fly with me

Across the clashing of thunderstorms,

past lilies and roses,

a flight inches from the sea,

through country roads, postcards, and mails

Only with stones and flames can I love you

with the wet grass under your head

and embers suspended in the air failing to reach the sky

Kiss me beneath the stars,

a kiss under the tunnels of stone

Only with the finger’s promise of staying can I love you

I am here in the morning

and at night, to listen to your

secrets and little deaths,

solitude and rain clouds

Watch your ebb and sinking ships only to rise again

For you come in the midst of my hurricane and cloudburst

To seed yourself in my heart

and grow unearthly special

and you make known to me what is light in the darkness,

you, my beloved one.

My body is a walking museum

My body is a walking museum.
My bones heavy with hands running down my spine
and when touched, it does not break

It is made up bricks and bricks of catcalling
“sluts” and “whore”
molded into walls that held my back.

These thighs are reviewed one, two, three, four, five stars
Like an open hotel, a service, a merchandise
ready to be sold
on demand
in a market

And my eyes, a call for attention they say
It speaks ‘yes’
to passerby,
to schemers,
to the libido of men,
to the sleepless sexual drive
whenever and wherever

These breasts hide in plain sight that invites
to be seek, to be fondled
seduces the neighbors conclusively
without its knowing

And the beasts of the day openly sniff these shoulders like a bee
like a mosquito ready to attack in a blood-smell
All you
daylight bullies,
slut-shamers,
cat callers,
and predators
who accuse us provocative no matter what we do or wear,

Bury me.
Bury me and see how I dig myself out of the heap of soil
Bury me
and watch as I crawl out of your verdict as an object of your egoistic desires

Bury me
and look at me fly
because these wings are too strong and
too big for your shallow opinions to bring me down

The big breathing world encircles me in its grip,
but watch me break the clutches of your mouths and bodies
for you hit like rain and it falls formless.

Watch me,
a towering blossom of a tree,
sip down these waters and grow into miraculous beauty

For this woman is breathing

evolving

unfolding

and her artwork is not for your touching.