Minsan gusto ko na lang na sabihin mo sa akin na hassle ako HAHAHA Para tapos na.
You’re dressed in immaculate white, dazzling smile underneath a mask. Your broad shoulders stretches across the brightly-lit room.
You’re standing tall, looming over my prostate body laid carefully across the metal bed. I’m wearing nothing but green scrubs, so thin, I can feel the cool surface of steel.
The knife clatters as you take it from the tray and inch it closer to me. I hear the blood rush through my ears. My chest is pounding.
I look at you.
Of course you make no hesitation, your long fingers deftly making an incision. The knife is quickly engulfed by vermillion. Everything feels like a whisper until the lids of my eyes close like curtains.
When they open again, I see my hands, pale and delicate, in a basin. The fingers are relaxed.
It’s 2:00 am! A lifetime ago, I was thinking of a big mistake I had committed that almost took a friend away. But she thawed and we were back to status quo. No. She isn’t what I’m thinking about.
I’m thinking about them. One was a pretty old memory while the other was a pretty warm one. Who knew they would converge on this rotten frame of mine?
Yes, we were friends. But that came much after. It was such a long time ago when I first heard the timbre of his voice, a warm baritone that annoyed the life of me. Overly eager, I venomously thought. Overly eager? Look who’s talking.
He looked smart. Then I found out he really was smart. Maybe because he spent most of his time classifying things. It was music, if I remember correctly. He couldn’t move on without assigning everything he hears a genre. Pop, rock, classical, indie. So I let him listen to my song and he said that it really didn’t belonged to any one place. He knitted his eyebrows in concentration and I laughed. Music is just music.
For his birthday, I gave him a canvas. He said he was an artist. I want to say I gave it in spite, but that would be a lie. I wanted him to be an artist, like how friends wanted each other to be astronauts—or batman, whatever superhero you watched when you were young. In return, he gave me a photo. Black and white. I was confused, ’cause who returns gifts? But I liked it a lot. I didn’t hang it. My family doesn’t hang things up.
Yes, we were friends. It was because I felt that we were always in the same page. We wanted to understand the same things. But we didn’t live the same paradigms. Like I’ve said, he wanted to classify music. But music is music.
Years after we saw each other again, though time had stretched us thin. He did become an artist.
December. A dare. A wooden surface. Bottles. Dim lights. The dirty floor. Black shirt. Adam’s apple. Hands on the table. A deck of cards. Smoke. An empty pitcher.
A tap. Black eyes. Slurred words. Knees. A wooden bench. Hands. An invitation. A smirk. Ceiling. Forehead. Eyes. Nose.
March. A dare. A wooden surface. Hands on the table. Dim lights. Empty bottles. A single plate. Smoke. Knuckles.
A rap. The door. Black shirt. Ceiling. Hair. Adam’s apple. The dirty floor. A pair of shoes. The stool. Hands. Black eyes. Ears. A smirk. Shoulders. Neck. Knees. The door.
The artist and the dare. Though my mind raced for the first while my hands for the second, I kept none of them. And this is what I’ve been thinking about.
If there’s anything I’ve learned
In the last 3 hours, it’s that
I am selfish.
take me some place else where the water runs
deep in the woods and where
we’re laughing by the crackling fire
our arms close to electric
where our footsteps hide beneath
the sighs of the forest
take me some place where we can run
barefoot on hot sand
and watch it pass through our toes
pass through our fingers watch
the ocean take it from its place
only to return it on our breath
your words echo under the moonlight
and I am standing by the water tank
of my dingy home
like when I do
overlooking the houses weaved within trees
the expanse terrifies me
When your brown eyes
Pierced through mine and
Your words danced on my ears and
Your fingers licked my skin
I tried to breathe evenly
But the hairs on my nape stood up
As I tiptoed to meet your face
With conviction I said
“You know I think we’ve met before”
and I let it linger
I curled my hands into fists
Even bit the insides of my cheeks
But you never asked me why
You with the stupid eyes and
That stupid grin and
Those clumsy hands
You never asked me why
Day by day I’m learning
To be a better person
That you weren’t the only one and
Life keeps on
And now I’m marooned in this lonely island
With nothing but my shadow to keep me company
I’m learning each day
That the footprints on the sand are mine
That the trees are just trees
And the sky is bluer here than the city’s
Yet at dawn
I still raise my hands and scream
And at nights I still remember your godforsaken face
And wonder what made me to decide
To sail in the first place
WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE CONSTELLATIONS
I shouted, yes, on top of the yellow bus
The dusk approaching
Pretending I was some person
Behind the smoke-belching crowd
I DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE
IT DOESN’T MATTER
I tiptoed, thinking
I would eventually reach your sky
To grab you by the wrist
COME WITH ME
I whispered more to myself because
You had already turned your back
I didn’t hear you say
But I believed it so
I squinted my eyes
Your shoulders were horizons
For the setting sun
He was standing underneath the shower head, his hands covering his ears, whispering “it hurts, it hurts” hoping that with every repetition, the hurt would outright leave his body. But what it did was the opposite. Every word coursed through his veins like fire as it ran from his head to the length of his spine until the tips of his fingers and toes. He burned like candlelight.
first of all, it wasn’t my fault
you got kicked out of your own apartment
it was the rats, i swear
it took me days to decide whether
to write to you or not
because the last time we met you told me
“don’t write! save a tree!”
and laughed the hardest
but see there’s something about paper
and the grip of a pen
that got me thinking
remember when i pointed to the sky
and i told you
the universe was constantly expanding
“see those stars might not be there tomorrow”
i blinked and you threw your sandwich at me
but told me don’t worry
because all your life they haven’t moved an inch
well let me ask you then
why you haven’t moved an inch
since you came back
because every time i look up
i see the stars move farther and farther