Sa Gilid

sa gilid

 Hindi ito ang kinagisnan ko.

Minsan ko ring naramdaman
ang paghalik ng malambot na kumot sa aking binti,
ang pagyakap sa akin ng kulambo tuwing gabi,
ang mga unang sa ulo ko’y bumabati—
isang kamang naghihintay sa’king umuwi.

Ngayon, ito ang buhay ko.
Sa isang gilid, ako’y nananahimik.
Maghapong nakaupo’t nakatitig sa kawalan.
Sa gabi’y natutulog, upang gutom ay malimutan.

Sa isang tahanang payak,
pinanonood ko ang pagpadyak
ng mga paang tila ugat sa pedal,
lulan ang isang pasaherong nakaupong napapagal—
mga kalalakihang hindi iniinda ang bigat ninuman,
mahatid lang sila sa kanilang paroroonan.

Sa isang tahanang munti,
dito ako namamalagi.
Ang papag ko’y gawa sa aspalto,
ang unan ko’y kasing-tigas ng bato,
ang kobre kama ko’y lumang karton,
ang kurtina’y nakabiting kartelon.
Hindi ko na rin kailangan ng kumot,
ang usok ng mga sasakyang humaharurot
ay sapat nang init sa karapatang pinagdamot.

Sa isang tahanang walang pinto,
malugod kitang sasalubungin dito.
Ipagpaumanhin mo kung ito lamang
ang aking naihanda’t ihahandog,
mga boteng ireresiklo
at mga kartong patapon.
Ito na lang kasi ang kabuhayan ko,
mga ginamit na bagay na mas mahalaga pa sa ginto.

Ngunit paano mo ako makikita?
Kung ang baling ng iyong mga mata’y nasa kalayuan.
Narito ako sa gilid, nagtatago
habang ikaw ay naglalakad patungo sa malayo.

Sapagkat ang gitna ang una mong mapapansin,
hindi ang kaliwang bahaging kinakain ng dilim.
Nandito ang katotohanang iyong nililihim,
kunwari’y ‘di batid, tinuturing lang akong hangin.

At sino ka upang husgahan ako?
Hindi mo naranasan ang kinagisnan ko.

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Pagbitiw

Sa paggising ng aking diwa,

Pupunasan ang mga luha,

Lulunukin ang hikbing hindi mailuwa

At lalanguyin ang bawat baha.

 

Lilinisin ko ang bawat dumi

Na iniwan mo nang ako’y nanatili.

Itatabi ang mga damit

Na aking sinuot noong

Ikaw pa ay kapiling.

 

Ibabalik ko rin sa Diyos

Ang lahat ng ninakaw na bituin

Noong tayo’y naglakad

Sa ilalim ng kadilimang nanlalamig.

 

At kahit na kalimutan  mo man

Ang buhok o pangalan ko,

Tatandaan ko pa rin ang boses

Na binulong mo sa tenga ko.

 

Saka ko itatapon

Ang mga basurang iniwan mo

Na inakala ko’y ala-ala

At tinratong parang ginto.

 

Ngunit kakantahin ko pa rin

Ang mga kantang saulado mo,

Bibigkasin ang pangalang

Pilit na kinalimutan mo.

 

At saka ko ipagyayabang

Sa karagatan,

At buong lupalop ng mundo

Na ako’y minsang nagmahal

Ngunit hindi pala husto.

Empress

While the sun rises as he wakes

And burns in the middle of the day,

That’s when she leaves the bed she’ll make

To occupy the room where he’s just stayed.

 

Across the room, she hears the sound

Of a heart once dead; now, beats so loud–

It echoes and resonates around,

Shakes the walls as she tries to calm it down.

 

And it dismantled the whole building–

For the first time, she didn’t try to fix it

She stood strong alone in the ruins

And summoned the hope they’ve shamelessly killed.

 

“What will become of us?”, they asked.

-You’ll be buried deep beneath my past.

“We wish you nothing but sadness.”

-I’ll wish you nothing but forgiveness.

 

She then built a kingdom of her own,

A fortified place for her resting bones.

One night, as she tried to call it her home,

She bolted awake, said “I can’t live alone.”

 

So she decided to search far and wide,

Hoping someone would make her feel alive.

Of all the rules that her people abide,

She broke one off and swallowed her pride.

 

In the city where she used to pray,

She found a boy who is unafraid.

That’s when she left the kingdom she’d made

To occupy the heart where she will stay.

 

“What have become of us?”, they’d ask.

-You were long ago buried deep beneath my past.

“We still wish you nothing but sadness.”

-I’m done asking for your forgiveness.


 

*dedicated to patricia

for keeping me sane all the time

January

Winter has passed and the leaves are falling
Grab your sweater, the breeze is cold in the morning
But the wind and the sunrise feels so good in January
Providing us warmth and shelter with you beside me

And yes, you did; you did wear your sweater in January
Because the iceberg is melting in the ocean of Atlantic
It provided you warmth and shelter from the cold morning breeze
And I watch how your heart melts when you try to freeze it

You were sixteen by that time and I’m just turning fifteen
We drove all over the metro back and forth, wandering
And by the afternoon, the heat was too much to bear for us
But through your presence, I found that nothing’s treacherous

But the sun has set and we’ve lost our way home
And the wind has been colder but we’re not alone
You gave me your jacket for a while to tie up your shoes
But I didn’t try to wear it, I gave it back to you

What happened next?
Our knees touched as he sat across from me
I’m trapped in my position, as well as he
—That’s all I can remember for now, I’m sorry.

Now a year has passed and the leaves are still falling
And I didn’t even bother to get my sweater in the morning
I embraced the freezing wind and the sunrise in January
Because it provided happiness when you’ve already left me

And yes, I do; I still do remember that morning of January
Because the iceberg is melting in the ocean of Atlantic
But it’s so much colder now and I feel ironically frantic
Because now I don’t have you sitting beside me

You’re now seventeen and I’m turning sixteen in a month
Funny how the weather was so alike with your feelings toward me
You’re ever-changing, so confusing, cold and enigmatic
But I’ve dealt with your absence although it tasted like acid

Now the sun has risen and I’ve found my way home
The wind has always been colder but I stood strong
And I don’t need anyone’s jacket just to warm myself up
I do miss you but I learned how to woman up

What happens next?
Maybe we will meet someday, I don’t know
On the day of my birthday, I’ll try to let go
The future will be bright for us—this, I know.