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 clabbered 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.

 

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

You Tell Me

“I hate myself”, you tell me.

And I ask you why.

Then you said because they said you’re fat.

And ugly.

And fat.

And ugly.

And you said “Nobody deserves to love you.”

Because your not very lovable.

And you started crying.

And I said you’re right.

And you raise your head.

And you asked “What?”

And I said you’re right.

No one will love you.

Not because you’re fat. And ugly.

But because you think you are.

You don’t love yourself.

And you cared about what their going to say.

Much more than what you say about yourself.

And you said “But they think….”

And I cut you off.

I said “What about what you think?”

“And What I think?”

I told you a million times before how wonderful you are.

And for the millionth time I’m saying this.

How beautiful.

How funny and charming.

How enchanting you are.

But you never believed me.

The world will always throw boulders at you.

It will want to crash you and pound you.

But the woman I know, stands up.

After being crashed, she renewed her life.

With the power of her soul, she unleashes the fire.

That shatters the boulder.

And destroy its power.

She ignores what the world will say to her.

Because she knows herself.

And she believes that she is lovable.

She loves herself.

And she doesn’t accept less than she deserve.

And I said “I found that woman in you. But now she’s gone.”

You sat there. Still. Unmoved. Stoned. But not crying.

Your eyes fiery. But not with rage.

And I realized you’re not going to say a word.

So I stand up and walk away.

After fifteen steps, I heard a faint echo.

“She’s Back”

You tell me.

She is a Book

I AM A BOOK. Opened by many. Read by few. Understand by one.

My covers are illusions. Alluring yet dangerous. Yet still many tried to unravel me.

Too many tried. Too many failed.

For their eyes only see what’s visible, neglecting what’s beyond the canvas.

Few. Too few have cross the boundaries and read between the lines. But my words are powerful.

And my sentences are explosion that shattered those who have read. Confused those who depicts.

After one crack, one explosion, most of them turn their backs away leaving the book behind.

But one stayed.

YOU stay.

Despite every dead pages and ugly sheet of papers, you remain.

Despite every missing lines and loose words, you hang on.

You lived with the fragility of the book.

You accepted the imperfection and blemishes.

You understand that understanding is not always ‘knowing all’.

That understanding is tolerance.

And you say “the book changes you”.

But what you don’t know is you changed the book more than it changes you.

It became your best friend.

It is yours like no one ever have. Never, ever have.

And the book always loves you back.

Because she is a book. Opened by many. Read by few.Understand by one.