[it’s where you could find me when you couldn’t find me anywhere else]

Poetry

Piece of Heaven

When you grow up, you might ask me
How it is to raise you alone
I know I mess up, sometimes I feel
Like I can’t move along

But I put those thoughts aside
And when I see your little smile
I realize I now have
A piece of heaven in me.

Your fragile body gives me strength
Your twinkling eyes light up my world
Your sweet voice gives me courage
And urges me to move on

‘Cause when I cradle you in my arms
And when I hold your little hands
I realize I now have
A piece of heaven in me.

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May Isang Babae

Sa isang kwarto, may isang babae,
Pinipilit pigilin ang pagtakbo ng oras –
May sirang orasan.

Sa kama, nagkalat ang mga sulat,
naipon ang mga litrato,
hindi maisantabi,
nilulunod s’ya sa nakaraan.

Pinatay ng babae ang maliit na ilawan;
Gusto n’yang manatili sa dilim,
Ayaw pa n’yang harapin ang umaga,
Mas nakaririmarim ito kaysa sa gabi.

May nagkalat na bubog,
May mantsa ng alak sa sahig.
Maraming basag na pangarap,
nasirang tiwala,
nalimutang pangako,
nabalewalang damdamin.

Sa isang kwarto, may isang babae,
Lasing na sa isang basong luha
na umaapaw sa pighati.


For So Long

How many wishes upon a star should I make?
How many dandelions should I send to heaven?
How many silent prayers should I say
Before this sorrow ends?

Can you see my broken heart?
Can you even hear me speak?
I’ve been calling out your name
Even in my sleep.

Do you think it’s hopeless?
Do you think I’m pathetic?
I’ve loved you for so long
That most of the time,
I’m not aware of it
Anymore.


About Feelings

You’re teaching me about feelings…

Feelings I’ve known all my life
Like love and like and happiness,
Though I wasn’t aware before
That feelings could be so intense
So strong
So moving
That it feels like they’re all spilling
to every inch of my body.

Feelings I’ve never felt before
Like this tingling sensation
Running down my spine,
Like a million angels
Were blowing air softly on my ears,
Like a canopy of freshness
Was always following me around,
Making me giddy and lightheaded
With delight.

And finally,
Feelings I’m sure I only felt for you
Feelings I couldn’t put the right word to
They’re like a whole, new and different spectrum
A myriad of colors in their finest bloom.


The Cliff

Here is where you died.
Your parents told me you jumped off this cliff
and fell down,
down,
down…
losing your last battle with gravity,
though by the look of things,
I think, perhaps,
this time,
you won.

I came here
full of questions
only you could answer –
questions brewing in my mind
since the day you died,
questions that made me doubt my very existence,
questions I would spend my whole life asking.

Standing here,
I tried to feel your presence.
Are you still here
waiting for me,
looking for me,
knowing that I would come here
and try to reach out to you,
wherever you might be?
Are you also trying to feel me
for one last time,
trying to talk to me
about why you died,
about how you lived?
Are you trying to search for answers, too,
because you didn’t find them there?
Or have you really gone on
to the other side,
to the great beyond?

How did you do it?
Did it cross your mind just once,
while you were walking to school,
or drinking coffee perhaps,
and you decided to go here,
just like that?
Or did it take time
to form in your mind,
growing,
growing…
possessing you,
owning you,
until you couldn’t stop it anymore?
Did you jump off
the moment you came here,
not allowing second thoughts,
not waiting until you were
a hundred percent certain
of what you were about to do,
if you could ever be?
Or did you wait for the right time,
if there was such,
wait for someone to come and rescue you,
wait for one last chance of redemption?
And if you did,
was it me you waited for?
Because you know I would do everything
to save you
if only I had any clue that you needed saving.
Did you run from way back there,
gathering momentum
so that nothing could stop you,
even yourself,
even if you ever changed your mind
on the last second?
Or did you just let yourself fall down,
put one foot in the air,
then the other,
slowly,
deliberately?
Did you think of me
while you were here,
think of who you would be leaving behind?
Did you shout my name
one last time,
for the whole world to hear
that you loved me
until the end?
Or did you just whisper it,
ever so softly,
because it was meant for my ears only?
Did you look down,
building up the courage
to face the uncertainty
of what would happen next?
Or did you look up,
to whoever’s up there,
and entrusted everything
to the great unknown?
Did you feel the impact,
your bones breaking,
your heartbeat thumping faster,
giving all of its remaining energy,
then slower,
until it was gone,
your brain spilling
as it counted the final seconds,
the ultimate countdown,
when you reached the hard ground?
Or did you get numb in midair,
surrender to the darkness,
succumb to the shadows,
even before the crash?
Did you see a blinding light?
Did you see your whole life before your eyes?
Or did it come swiftly – death,
no theatrics,
no special effect,
just a simple crossing over
to the afterlife?

Did you really mean it?
Did you really decide to die?
I tried to rationalize your action
because I couldn’t accept that you,
the cheerful and resilient you,
would resort to something like suicide.
Did you really jump off,
knowing that death would be waiting for you below?
Wasn’t it just an accident,
that you just slipped
while looking down,
marveling at how far above the ground you were
at that moment?
Wasn’t it just an experiment,
that you were just trying to find out
if you could really fly?
Wasn’t it just your kind of extreme sports,
that you just wanted to feel
the adrenaline rushing through your veins,
that you expected to survive the fall
and live to tell the story?

And why?
If it really was as plain as taking your own life, why?
Why did you do it?
Were you running away from something,
trying to shake away the ghosts that haunted you,
wanting to escape to a more peaceful place?
Did you think the answers to your questions
would be found there,
wherever you thought your destination would be?
Were you tired of living,
of waking up every day,
of going through the same things,
of trying and failing,
again and again?

It doesn’t matter now, does it?
You are gone.
I think, if you could talk to me
at this very moment,
you would say,
your voice booming with pride,
that this is the only thing that you tried
and didn’t fail.
You would want me to stop asking, wouldn’t you?
You would want me to move on
because I wouldn’t find the answers here.
I wouldn’t find the answers
anywhere in this world,
in this life.
Death is not something I should question
while I’m still alive,
because death doesn’t give reasons,
doesn’t need justifications,
doesn’t provide explanations,
unless I want to die myself.

Yes, it is clear to me now:
I was trying to search,
not for answers,
but for closure.

Here is where you died.
Here is where I’m going to let you go,
because here was where you let go of yourself.
Here is the pitchfork of our journey,
and I must carry on with the old path,
the right path,
the one you left –
living.
No, I wouldn’t follow you,
not this time.
Yes, I’ll meet you on the other side,
someday,
but not this time.

Here is where you died.
Here is where I’ll continue to live.
I hope we both find our solitude,
in time,
no matter how elusive it may be.


Silence

We used to talk about things
While sitting by the fountain –
Things we want,
Things we don’t know for certain,
Things we dream about,
And things we believe in.

We used to walk along the avenue
And promise each other
That when we grow up
We would be richer;
You would be the president
And I’d be a famous singer.

We used to have long conversations,
Our phones hot on our ears,
Talking about snippets of the past
That brought us joyful tears,
About unfinished homeworks,
About wild nights and beers.

We used to laugh a lot
Until we gasp for air,
We used to shout on top of our lungs
Never minding their stares,
We used to hum and sing
Like nobody’s listening,
We used to chat during sleepless nights
About anything, about everything.

I thought I would always hear your voice,
That you’d be there no matter what,
I thought you were the only constant thing
In my ever-changing life.
I thought we’d always be a pair –
One void without the other,
I thought we were inseparable,
I thought we’d never dare.

Now, the only thing I hear
Is that deafening silence,
Mocking me, scorning me,
Stressing out your absence.

This silence is pressing down on me
Burdening me with a weight I cannot bear,
I strain my ears to hear the faintest sound
There’s not a single breath, not even a whisper.

It is a deadening silence,
A very low and static hum,
Something that keeps ringing in my ears
Even long after it’s gone.


My Life in Snapshots

If I could capture my life in snapshots
You would be my favorite photograph
Under it, the caption would be:
Someone with the most ineffable beauty.

I love that word, ineffable
It thoroughly defines you, indescribable
Seems like no word could ever justify you
You’re far beyond speech, far beyond virtue

If I could download scenes from my memory
I’d be playing ours in a high-def TV
Especially the moment you kissed me in the rain
That time we walked for miles and I didn’t mind the pain

I was wearing my high heels then, my bad
We were stranded in the flu-infested flood
Yet, I wasn’t sad, not angry either
‘Cause you were with me in that shitty weather

And if I could record any sound, any song
Your voice would be on replay all day long
I’d listen to your “I love you” over and over
And as finale, it would be your “forever”

Yes, forever sounds like a fairy tale
Looks like a story doomed to fail
But I believed you when you said we are eternal
We are infinite, our love is immortal

Our love is ageless, we are timeless
It is an affirmation, more than a yes
And if the flukes of the universe would let us grow together
There would be a picture of us, holding hands, on our rocking chairs