the story of her skin allowed no man to use mouth or pen to immortalize
her, in between the moon and dinnersteaks,
there was no route that would lead her home
there was no book that told,
no poem that favored her,
no mornings that gave justice to her complexion,
no roses could compare
no ballad could ever be sung to revive her
thus, this was the story of her skin:
untrue and unreliable,
as honest as the word: Lover
She sought to write on water
so that the sea could keep her stories safe
so she went to the beach every Sunday
and sat where the sand was fickle,
where it was either thirsty or wet
she would whisper to the wind through songs
she made up in her head
‘I could be naked, I could be alright’
and the sea always spoke to her
in little pebbles and hermit crabs
There was a thousand cigarette butts lying dead on the floor. Smoke replaces light in the evenings, the only markers for lips waiting to be kissed. Citizens run, counting money, counting the times they forgot their keys inside the refrigerator.
Then all of them stop for a bum. No one denies another of a light. It’s a universal truth that our intimacies remain subtexted in every shared puff. The smokers never wage war.
What about the puddles of water on the asphalt, arrogantly stepped on by business men,
cursed at by women with high heels and tight skirts. Trickles
of water are dragged along by leather shoes and wheels.
All they do is wait to dry up.
What ever happened to the song of the sky, falling slowly
on days our trees become thirsty. Our weeks have gone cold,
the sound of the city buses help us forget that
our puddles need to nourish our dry lips and burnt skin.
n. pl. jel·ly·fish
a. The romantic waves of its arms remind me of how dancers make love with a song.
b. or how future lovers slowly meet in passing. You catch a glimpse of someone’s face and look away to contain the sudden intensity, look back. The face is gone. The image whispers to you in every other word you hear from passers-by. “Daffodil… Abruptly… Tip-toe… Tongue… Cake…” Till every word pulls you further away from the face that swallowed you whole.
In a beach far away, a jellyfish dances alone and swims to die by the sand bed as half-naked children poke it with a stick.
I’ve always misplaced things
keys and books,
and gadgets with the span of losing and finding
stretched out for weeks at a time
sometimes, I misplace people
leaving them in the wrong places,
or the wrong memories
I saw you on a street smoking,
Then I saw you on the rooftop of my old building,
You said you liked smell of basil
You were hiking with me to the top of Mt. Makiling,
you were wearing a gold watch, you said you fell in love with me
there were a lot of words you said,
sometimes, I misplace words
or their meanings, or the way
they should affect me
you said you could stay,
I dwelled on the fact that you could.
I misplace even myself,
within occasions, within affairs
that aren’t my own to claim
How can you ever disappoint me
For a home, we had a tent made out of blankets. It was as raw as the way you grab my wrist in the middle of the crowd. Do not get lost. There was a bowl of prawns for lunch which made it easy to forget etiquette.
Eventually the story of your skin played out along my fingertips like a ballad. Inside the tent you were immortal, leaving no room for pillow-talk. I touch your cold feet, you smile. Our little home was occupied. You occupied the air. You even occupied the sunlight.
Manila traffic is the culprit
I rolled down the window to expose myself. The racing wind crept through my hair
like how your fingers used to.
Blinding headlights rushing towards me give me a migraine. I reach out
for a pill that isn’t there. By instinct, I reach out
only to touch the empty seat beside me.
your skin was always so tender
If I stay away from the reflex to touch, maybe
it would seem that the option was still there,
If my hands wouldn’t tremble (like old men with arthritis), eager
to find the familiar warmth of your thighs, maybe
the memory wouldn’t be so unfamiliar.
there was a blank billboard outside the window.
stacked in a field of uncut grass. blow
the wind blows like how I exhale
a long traffic of smoke. the wind blows
through my hair, through the long afternoon
made up of little words and a thousand gestures.
on the bed, he was sleeping.
I take off my clothes
as it was a clouded atmosphere.
I look out the window.
I tap the cigarette with my finger,
ashes fall like snow that isn’t snow.
I keep steady. there was nothing left
to reason. the wind blows
Lamp posts across the skyway formed a diamond necklace in the sky, spewed along a black canvas, dragging you home, singing a soft tune: I am here. The windshield became a portal into a painting.
The pavement became one with the borders of the glass, taking you in. The air outside was vivid to the eye. Inside the vehicle, the subtle caramel smell of the Sleepwalk Circus plays like water on the skin, it is a finger pressed against the lip.
In another road, in another timeframe, there is a girl crossing a busy street. Weary of cars, looking left and right. Her hair dances with the wind like slow waves crashing into the sand bed. Sea foam, sea spray. She remembers a vague moment of a long drive home.
Our shoulders have forgotten the heaviness of metal armors. Disarmed
-the word closest to the taste of our cowardice. Disarmed as in, a soldier asleep,
disarmed as in, naked
Your collar bones have become fully exposed, leaving no room for fancy jewelry.
On a platter, for the taking. Forsaking
all things left to the private heart
or all things yet to commune. Disarmed as in a child alone,
disarmed as in, a love forsaken.