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Mar 21, 2009

Path


Marriage is not finding someone to own
but someone to hold. It’s about finding
that missing part of you at the right moment
you realize you were not meant to be alone.

It’s the part where we connect, soldering our souls
to the universe so we see each other
every time we look at the stars, reminding us why
we want to stretch our arms and reach.

I know there will be days where reaching might be a little too much,
or we think that it may not be enough to forgive our little faults.
But, I promise you that if you could just let me be
your anchor to hold you through all the storms,

I will be still.
I will be satisfied.
I will bring you to the sea
that is and will be my love.

Although sometimes it may recede from the shore,
I can promise it will always return—stronger and intent
on being that expanse, that adventure, that horizon for you
That line that swallows darkness to reveal the sun

Because love is all about the time we find to give away;
taking baby steps by first watching then doing,
learning to build paths between your universe and mine
even when there are none to follow,

just so we can lead each other home.

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posted by Rax @ 12:44 AM


Nov 9, 2008

Sink or Swim

I've walked the plank so many times,
I could have been a ballerina―
dancing on guilt trip wires because
I'm graceful when head over heels,
tumbling. "Look Ma! no hands!"

Look what he did, Ma, they're broken:
promises written on bones
too heavy to carry this far
out to sea. So I drop anchor
where dreams go to die.

I lie, dead still,
his name chiseled off my back
with an ice pick― because
I needed to make holes
to breathe again.

Perhaps if he had a backbone
I would not need to carve my own.
It costs too much and I should be
saving the tears inside cups
for him to drink; and forget

the time the water broke
me open, spilling hopes when
no hands were on deck to stop
memories from seeping through
the cracks where our smiles used to
be.

Update: Have go-see at the interesting poem-reactions this piece has churned @ SL Corsua's blog, Unguarded Utterance - "Postcard-Sign (Off) Language" and Blue Rogue's "Dive" @ Extraplanar.

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posted by Rax @ 11:19 PM


Aug 11, 2008

Tourist

All over my fridge are magnets,
keepsakes from the places I've been.
In San Francisco, I bought the Golden
Gate the moment my 13 hour flight landed.

I don't have one for Tucson,
where I met you for the first time.
As if you, too, couldn't see beyond
just in front of us.

I didn't get one in Nogales, though
we went to many gift shops.
About hunger: I've known it,
and I've been told to bear with it.

As the days passed, my Arizona
collection grew: Wupatki Ruins, Sunset
Crater and yes, the Grand Canyon,
bought the week before I had to leave.

In Manila, I arranged them on
my fridge, a souvenir shrine
to remind me of what
I could not bring home.



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posted by Rax @ 8:35 AM


Jul 13, 2008

Love without Sex: A response to Sharon Olds


They do it, the ones who love
without making love, by dancing with words
that reach out to each other, falling short
over the glass, fingers pressed
against monitor screens, curved
over keyboard bodies, faces
red as the sun, one setting the other rising
at the other end of the world, wet as the
oceans that come between their need to
come to, come to come to God come to
each other. They do it without kissing
the love that gave birth to their poetry, whispers
spreading steady like warmth from heated
laptops. These are the true romantics,
the dreamers, the mystics, the ones who
have accepted the logic of distance,
the mathematics of bridges and yet
don’t turn back at the sight of the gap, for
they are the greatest gymnasts: ones who
arch their backs over the globe, flipping
electrical switches to cross the synapses
of their bodies, neurons shuddering
in rhyme—these factors, like the bed
never been to, is the solution, to the
problem of souls divided by 2, reaching
over the universe defying
their lack of owned time.

————————————————–

read sharon olds’ poem here


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posted by Rax @ 10:53 PM


Stitch

At the mental seams
you and I were conceived,
(stitched from the rags
of empty arms)
souls joined at the hips,
grinding against each other’s need
to be. Above the bed lay
its parallel line (contract, horizon,
point of rest) where slept
the discovery that you and I
were not supposed to meet
in this illusion of a future woven
into our past-entangled arms.

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posted by Rax @ 8:49 AM


Jul 7, 2008

Aftermath

The morning after
he took one of his cigarettes and lit it
with what might have been a pistol.
The floor had been swept
of the garbage
spilled on its cement tiles.
The sink that was piled with dishes
was clean. no remnants
jammed in the drain,
the bathroom reeked of antiseptic.
Smells like the hospital, she whispered.
He helped her lie down
and kissed her forehead,
knowing how
her eyes resembled
Quiapo stalls and sampaguitas,
memories seeping through
like her monthly stains.
He knelt beside the bed,
knowing how
Septembers might've been a baby
one that could've been theirs
screaming for milk
they could not afford,
because only
when the neighbors couldn't sleep
would they ask him, why? how?
knowing how
he would've answered,
he couldn't do everything.
He watched her sleep and
put the pistol lighter down.
After all,
he saw too much not to feel
her silent cries through the
thin blankets she clutched
like they were the walls
of her own womb.

©2002

[old poem, might polish later when I have the time]

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posted by Rax @ 9:51 PM


Identity

I don’t think I’ll make a real transvestite,
wear my heart in fire-engine heels,
and still walk straight, head high.
No, every morning, before I put on
my acceptable black pumps,
I cup the soles of my feet and
feel the weight of regret at
what I could never be: proud
and comfortable with my identity,
unafraid of being packed away in
the labels that would make
anyone craven, shirking
inside their own closets.


[this was a free write in gotpoetry.com’s tag-team-poem project the first line from lordfuznut]

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posted by Rax @ 8:57 AM


Jul 5, 2008

intramuros

It happened slowly, the gradual
stripping away of her beauty.
Some say she was,
some just shook their head
and refused to look at her eyes-
where it began.


I.


When young seedlings are plucked, uprooted and thrust upon the landfills, they learn to look at themselves from the grey reflections of sky in mud puddles. She reaches down and washes her face with the murky water from poisoned pools that branch out into the Pasig river, where she had found her memories washed up along its plastic ridden shores, coated with the oil and grime from the drainage of childhood. She wipes dry only her eyes, leaving a mask across her mouth to filter the city air before proceeding to walk along Taft Avenue barefoot, hips slowly taking the shape of her surroundings.


II.


The long route of wide winding roads will eventually lead her to the safety of the old city walls, but for now, she tells herself that we wear old habits like halos, circular patterns where we must look back to get ahead of ourselves. Born from the river, perhaps she was not one who believed in straight lines, knowing that at some point the path she treads will branch out again into sooty alleyways and back streets of Ermita where she will learn to dance along the cracks of her broken spirit, the music allowing her to hide them beneath her calloused soles.


III.


He came across her dancing, his eyes tracing the curved lines of her spine. A camote vine, with ends curled upward, seeking the sun, wrapped itself tightly around his hands. She was beautiful, like rose petals scattered along the pavement, thorns snapped off and pressed against skin flushed deep red from the stains he left on her eyesight. He kissed her eyelids shut and untangled the frayed vine that by now, only hung from one wrist, and let it fall on the asphalt, cheek first.


IV.


She lies on the ground on her side and thinks about how it happened quickly, the stripping away of her beauty. Some say she had forgotten how beautiful she was, others say she never knew. So they shake their heads and refuse to look at her eyes- where it ended. She smiles under her mask, knowing how it never really ends, knowing how all waters will eventually crawl their way back, even when bent and twisted with only one eye facing the sun it vowed to follow, to the sea.




*My first prose poem...woohoo!

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posted by Rax @ 6:29 AM


May 23, 2008

Still

I have replaced you so many times
In my mind, changed your age and face.
Today I imagined you five years old, wearing
one of my shirts that fell all the way down
to your knees. We watched TV for a while and
when a dog was shot in a movie you asked
“Is that puppy sleeping?” And I said, “Yes, for his own good.”

At nights I would tuck you in beside me,
watching you sleep softly still, until
I realized that whenever I stand still
the landscape stretches and reveals new things—
mountains, previously dots on the horizon,
loom and threaten to crush or force me to run;
and so I run in the other direction
forgetting, keeping the memories in the dark



closet, where the cat, Milky, liked to sleep.

Later, I asked you not to go near her as she had
Just given birth on my newly washed towels.
Later we found that the kittens were stillborn,
flesh stuck together, like a foreboding feeling
that couldn't be shaken off, only buried,
in a shoe box grave
under a willow in the yard. Though
Milky came every night to look for them in the closet anyway.

During fiestas you would speak to me as a pig would speak
before it was slaughtered. Your voice drowning the
busy chatter of relatives and friends preparing meals,
skinning sausages with sharp kitchen knives, slicing
fetal curves of garlic, crushing them into pepper, and I -
would choke on a throat full of water
and watch you trickle on the metal basin
full of raw dinuguan
.*

*dinuguan - "pork blood stew" or "chocolate meat" or "chocolate pudding" in English, is a Filipino savory stew of blood sausage and offal simmered in a rich, spicy gravy of pig blood, garlic, chili and vinegar.
(from wikipedia)



Vote for this Poem at GotPoetry.com


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posted by Rax @ 5:23 PM


May 17, 2008

stoned

you are the stone I swallowed

small and smooth because it fell
with rain I never saw coming

hard to catch in palms that bruise easy
the way it sat in my stomach long

after it slowly climbed up to sit
on top of the wall, a Humpty Dumpty

on a heart that needed
just one more

brick


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posted by Rax @ 9:24 PM


May 12, 2008

Email

I found you in this mailbox
when my hand reached
inside to look for a laugh,
little did I know that
when I pulled you out,
you tickled my heart
so much, I just had to
keep you.

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posted by Rax @ 10:08 PM


May 11, 2008

Burned

You must find it
fascinating how–
moths are riveted
to the flickering pyre
you dangle
in between fingertips.
Its wings dance
alongside silent, gray tendrils
escaping your breath.
Circling around,
irrevocably drawn
to the sighs
that kiss your lips.
Saltine beads,
tease your temple,
then your cheekbone,
curving around your jaw.
A faint smile shows
your minute amusement
at how this creature
will leave a field of flowers
for the scent of sweat.
This drab cousin
of the butterfly,
craves attention
and will stay still
on your palm
staring up
in simple-minded wonder
at the meteor
about to burn
its wings.

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posted by Rax @ 8:40 AM