Searching for Winged

The elders kept chewing their words
Someone cut the children’s tongues

Memory played: pebbles rubbing rough
The soles of the feet, a body of water, and blood
The blade in her macopa hands slipping
To slice the silence with a clang

I feel wings but neither see nor hear them

All was written as legend
Yet as forgotten, almost unsaid

Ikaw ang Dagat Ko

Malimit ang tawag ng tubig
Balik-balik ang alon
Ang luha ko ay dagat
Sa kalawakan ng papel

Bawat titik ay tulala
Ang hikbi ay bula
Sa kalaliman, kadiliman
Walang piglas
Nalulunod

Ang buhay ko ay anod
Tahimik
Bago ang unos

Akay ka ng daluyong
Ang tayutay na nagkatawang tao
Ang wangis ng lalim, ng dilim
Ang banayad, ang ragasa
Ang pag-ibig, ang tula

Ikaw ang dagat ko

*Para kay Paul

Your Name (noun)

Your Name (noun) 1. The romanticization of a seconds-
long interaction beginning with your question, ending
as a knot in my stomach, a smile I swallowed

2. The bitter dawning of the impossibility
of having lips that will reach your ear, of having
stranger skins meeting under covers, accompanied
by the sweetness of becoming nothing
more;

3. The disappointment that follows a minute of introduction
to the you stripped of my imagination;

4. The laugh ripe with disgust after landed feet
proving the foolishness of constructing a future, a poem,
a noun, after a spit of tired dialogue
from an unexplored tongue

Average

The pain of being average is nothing comparable
To a gunshot to the foot, to losing a lover,
To the first realization of the certainty of death.
And yet, the self as most mediocre
Defying the very definition of typical
By virtue of being superlative, going the extra mile
To not nowhere, not everywhere, but somewhere,
The sting is ever true, barely tolerable, almost.

Hey there, gorgeous.

Unhappy pretty girls with languid eyes
lusting behind long lashes, their lips stained
with purple and smoke, last night’s kisses
and vodka. Unhappy pretty girls, in love
with both men and women, longing
for the same brand of misery.

They sit in bars gleaming with glass goblets
of gin and tonic, breathing in the gaiety
of strangers in the dark, lives ungraspable
after a distance of two feet. Unhappy

pretty girls who will never
grow flowers in their lungs despite a protest
of menthol cigarettes. The night

turns weary of your sorrow.
The dawn is sick of your solitude.
Morning shies from your breath of coffee.

But you’re a beautiful mess, aren’t you?

You should have taken off your shirt

You stand there with triumph plastered on your face
As if being recognized for flesh is a dive you won’t dare
But darling, your body is as much poetry as your voice
And your bare chest hold as much promise as your throat
There is no shame in nakedness when there are lines
No words can ever communicate, only fingertips can read
There are stories I’d rather not you explain, let me
Take to each crevice, taste the sin off your skin

This is why I will never say a word

Reality is the product of a stare. This is my truth
That the key to unlocking the mysteries of the galaxies
Lies in the dark matter of your pupils;
Should the world tumble out of tilt,
The north of my compass is at the tip of your tongue.
I believe no myths and I believe no books
Save for the trial and error that made you you,
That had god made man out of his own holy rib
I would still take the one born of fish.
But poetry was never made for talking, in the same way that
Love is not a four-letter word, it is an empty echo of people
Aching at the lack of how. This is not me
Playing hard to get with metaphors and hyperboles,
The limit of human communication is the fact
That you will space while I will earth,
That you will mountain while I will bird,
That you will sea while I will sky,
And should there be a parallel universe
Parallel lines would still not reach a point of union.
Language is the prerequisite of reason, except
Feelings are never rational and “love” dies in my mouth.
I can only tell you thisthat the history of the universe began
When light traveled to reflect your eyes in mine,
That the story of everything is a man, and the story of the fall
Is me.