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?

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 pawprints 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 neverland

to give you
Fly with me

Across the clashing of thunderstorms, past lilies and roses, 

a flight inches from the sea,

Through countryroads,

And 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, 

solitudes 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, catcallers, 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
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
This woman is breathing

Evolving

Unfolding

And her artwork is not for your touching.

Fever

The fever paces the streets, blinding the corridors in its nocturnal sadness

looking for eyes wandering, lost,

still and burdened in its own color
The wind plays with the cold for months even in the warm seasons.

A body crosses the bridge still wearing his mustache, tangled with ice

His eyes, a black hole; his lips, the shredding of a self

He’s suddenly whole, then suddenly empty

the fever builds a house out of a man
stores in it jars and jars of isolation, rusty toolboxes, dustheap of journals, of photographs, letters unread

the floor is soiled and dirty

the walls stand in exhaustion

At night, he dances with the doom and torment, with brooms and sticks and unusual

Distress plays a music ethereal in his ears

the fever took over the bedposts, the pillows, the blanket,

and the darkness has a bright color

the cellular rings and rings until it stopped

The man is helled to bed and sorry

until he is no more

Until he is nothing
The fever finished the house

Steps into the chair like a master

Harried the depths of his heart

and found nothing

Soundlessly, the man hangs himself in the ceiling

And the deads sound the bells of forlorn

The fever smiles

and parades the street looking for sad eyes to feed.

In Extremis

I’d leave my corpse in your hands and my name on your skin,

so you’ll never forget that I’d live there

I’ll house you in a graveyard and bury you like roots and coffins,

for you to feel how it’s like to be left alone

With frost and rain, I want to efface your memory

and I’ll teach you my name

it will be the only words your lips will kiss, the only tale you’ll tell

I hope you fall like rain, forced in its downfall, lonely and shapeless

with nowhere to go, nothing to do, but fall

Because when you leave, you used the windows and leave winter to sleep in my bed

and now sunlight is a stranger touching my skin

my body is a map of your lost expeditions but I’m the only one presumed lost and

you, the only surviving member

Now I dream, cloth with the memory of your face

enduring what remains of my withering self

Dear Unexceptional Inhabitant

It’s eight o’clock in this chilly  evening. Even with the windows closed, my room feels like a frozen hell. The red flickers dancing in the fireplace seems to be offering respite from the winter storm but failed. The wind outside was howling like you do when you’re angry except that you’re not howling. Only gnashing your teeth. (See, even the wind reminds me of you.) When I woke up today at six in the morning, I was certain that I’ll spend the rest of the day in this solid bed with a cup of strong coffee, a warm blanket, and a  Twain-book in hand but then I remembered that today your mail may arrive. So my certainty was ruined because of you. With my small feet, I scurried to the mail box in my blue nightwear and the risk I took was not wasted. (Did I just heard you smirk?)

I read and re-read your letter. The first time, reading your idiomatic message. The second time, agreeing with your opinions and at the same time disagreeing with them. And the third time, adoring every words and finding you in them.

And I see, you wanted to know why I am so punctilious when it comes to my affection. And why I chose you, out of all the sly foxes out there. Well, I can always resist my feelings but I am absolute that it will do you no good. Am I right? Well, let me tell you a story and I hope you find answers to your inquisitions.

In this seemingly vast universe, there was this woman who created her own world. For centuries, astronomers and philosophers wondered how her solar system and its planets came to be. They have seen the end result of the planet formation. They have looked at the general image she represented. They perceived the iceberg afloat her waters which is only 10% of the whole of its size. Even with the knowledge gained about her solar system, they were left to wonder, are there other planetary systems out there, and did they form like hers?

For years, they have studied the mysteries of her world, but they have only gone as far as reason would take them. But what they didn’t know is that sometimes reason cannot even explain itself. And there are things which even reason cannot comprehend.

But there was this average occupant. Not an astronomer, or a philosopher. Just an unexceptional inhabitant. This occupant did not only look at the end result, but at the process of formation itself. Instead of accepting the common image, he studied the particular details that made her world. Even though he knew that he cannot possibly determine the depth of the iceberg, he goes beyond the 10% of what is observable and explore what’s underneath the surface. He wondered and still is wondering about her world but he was sure of one thing–That no other planetary systems out there form like hers.

He has studied the mysteries of her world by going beyond reason. There were times when he scratched his head, crossed his eyebrows, and gnashed his teeth because he was unable to fathom her world. The woman once asked him why he never gave up and he gave her the answer she never knew she’d hear. Because for him, she is the mystery he would never be able to fully understand, but will love to live with.

That’s the story. Did I answer your question? I hope I do. Did you notice that I never answered your last letter about man and woman’s equality? I’m feeling generous today to not argue with you about that matter. But in my next letter, I will. Be patient, my dear. Now, I’ll leave my pen in this wooden table because darling, my hands are numb from the cold. I just wanna lie in bed and hear your sweet lullabies through your fancy words. Goodnight my uninvited occupant.

Love,

C.

Subdue

When you speak in your guttural voice and asked “Are you alright?”, I was seconds away to showing you my candor. And If that happens, my wobbly voice will definitely utter the miserable truth. But thanks to the Holy, my withdrawn mind reacts posthaste that it washes out my vocabulary and  drains it to a formless thought. Emotional perfectionism is a disease and I was its wretched host for years. Long-muted melancholies were now part of my system that it will take an absolute reconstruction to make it voluble. So when I hear your voice asking, I can only allow the sound of three words to permeate the air and those words would be “Yeah, I’m fine.”