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

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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.

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,
dust heap 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

Dive

My love is a lake

filled with calm ripples

whispering the sound of your name.

Slow dancing to your strokes and plunges.

 

Yours is a great swimmer

who came with passionate enthusiasm.

Thirsty for an adventure.

Impatiently, you dived and explored my depths.

Deciding that I cannot quench your yearning,

you left and search for huge waves.