A Bedtime Story

My parent’s warning: Never wear your crown because it shines too bright.
If you desire to be rescued by princes, you have to be a pure-hearted girl
Who sings good songs and asks safe questions.
Leaving her empire behind, she rides on his steed
Swallowing the rest of her senses behind her coy smile
(She can puke it out later, when they live happily ever after).

I’m sorry, mother.
I’ve tried my best to be nice. I’ve been a good little girl,
But what do I get with being cute? A man’s knee pressed to my leg.
Uninvited.
His thighs a spread canopy at the bottom of the dinner table,
Asserting the space that he thinks is his.
Pushing me at the edges.
For supper, he serves morsels of moral convictions with his mouth,
And leaning to me closer, he breathes,
“You should come with me to church.”

I am already tired of the kisses people steal in the dark
When their mouths speak of chastity in the morning.
“No, I never intend to have sex with you,”
But his fingers spider its way at the hem of my skirt.
We’ve never been chaste
Yet we show up at masses every Sunday,
Waiting for the rites to end
For the lights to turn off again
So that we can attend to what’s already burning.

Lover, you should already know that
my tongue is a fire that cannot be quenched
by any distilled sparkling water you drink everyday.
It’s too late now. You cannot rescue me.                                                                                         It demands. It hungers.
And it speaks of your undoing. Saying,
“White Knight, here’s what I want: I want to see you fully at your unmasking.”
Turn on the lights. I am not blinded nor scared by your sharp edges,
Your jagged pieces, your naked self that is stripped of armor and defenses.
I am not anymore a little girl who faints at the sight of blood.
I have been torched through many stakes.
My heart, already a live coal which no man can put out.

If you really want me, you have to take part in the burning.
Else, you remain in the shadows and become
the very monster you fear under your bed.

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Narcissus

Narcissus

Maybe we have different truths. Maybe your truth is different from mine, but that doesn’t make any of us less of what we are.

I have loved you in the way that I have loved. And in my mind, I know you did the same. We have loved each other in the ways we know how- that’s a truth I believe in.

but love– ah, what a big word it is. We’ve waded our way into it, still never knowing how slippery or deep it could be. Our hands are frantic in search for the other as we try to concretize its vagueness.

I see a clear image of you at the other side of the mirror, but our skins never touch- that’s a truth I have accepted.

I envy the weeds that wrap themselves around your feet. They cling onto you, like a blanket that keeps you warm at night. Meanwhile, the same thing continues to grow at my side of the riverbank. I feel it scratching my skin, slowly twining its life around my existence. Maybe this is the truth we should attend to.

You close your eyes now- and I hear your heart growing faint. I should do the same. In time, we’ll become something more real. But still in different realities.

Clytie

A/N: I was sorting some old doc files when I chanced upon this. Written last 2013. Crude and sick, yes. But I was devoted.

 

Clytie

If you ask me what beauty is like,

I’d still tell you that it’s the Sun.

Yes,

That god of gold

Whose radiance I’m always blinded at.

Whose presence blurs everything

Into nothingness…

I could only see, only feel, only think

Of HIM-

Always passing my way

But never stopping, never even coming

To me.

 

I know that bastard does that on purpose.

Revenge, he claims, is best served cold.

Yet his anger burns at my betrayal.

He’ll probably never forgive me,

Will never even cast again

A caring glance nor longing for my arms.

Even so, I am to atone by remaining here- transfixed

At his magnificence.

Yielding at his will.

Embracing his rage for sustenance.

Maybe for life itself.

 

Other nymphs tell me that I am getting mad

It’s getting unhealthy- my skin starts to be singed.

It’s best to run first and hide away, they say.

Any more prolonged exposure

Will lead to my eventual burn.

To my ruin.

 

But they don’t understand that

He has ruined me already-

What is burning compared to dying?

I will wilt without the Sun

And I will surely shrivel

If he forgets, if he forgives

If he grows cold.

 

He has already caused me to thrive

In the fields of eternal fire.

Reasons Why I Should Quit Coffee

  1. The moment I started smelling roasted Arabica beans from your hands, I knew I should have quit. It seeps through your skin and inevitably to mine whenever you run your fingers through my hair. I spend countless sleepless nights in my bedroom, inhaling that intoxicating scent of coffee from my pillow. All I could think about are your hands.

  2. Followed that burning smell as if I’m a lost child walking into a caramel house. But I’m not lost, I told myself. I know where I’m going. I know what I want, and I shall have it.

  3. I made you make me a latte. Extra milk, nonfat. All I want is that extra foam on top, but not the extra baggage.

  4. My mouth still burns whenever I taste that Double-shot Americano you had from your tongue. We could all benefit from putting in a bit of milk and sugar, but you prefer yours black and watered. I couldn’t reconcile how a calm, easy-going person such as you would want something that’s devoid of any sweetness at all. Nevertheless, my taste buds still entertained the irony.

  5. I started ordering your brew whenever you are not around. Just to see how far I can go with that strange preference of yours.

  6. After finishing 2 cups, I realize what made you crazy over it. I still don’t know if I’m crazy over it as well.

  7. Indecisiveness is ordering the same damn drink over and over again because I’m afraid that I wouldn’t get my money’s worth from the other blends. Maybe if I order it continuously, I’d get tired of its taste and switch to another – just as I got tired with my extra milk latte.

  8. Indecisiveness is standing in line for the shop to open, just to mull whether I really like my coffee black.

  9. Indecisiveness is watching you do other people’s coffee, but not saying that what I really want is for you to be here sitting across me. Meanwhile, black coffee swirls in my tongue, and I am itching to tell you what made you like it. I am itching to tell you what made me like it.

  10. I am drinking my nth cup as I watch you fix macchiatos for these group of girls. Your hands stain those pristine white cups from the leftover shots of espresso that you’ve added. I guess, I wouldn’t be sitting here alone- they’d be sharing my space. After all, you wouldn’t want anything else in your coffee. And I don’t think I want any other as well.

They Say Vulnerability is a Sign of Weakness

All day long, I wait as an offering,

insides turned out- skin, flesh, bones-

prepared like an open feast,

all for the birds to eat.

My hands outstretched, I wait for them

to come and perched on my stiff shoulders;

to peck on my eyes and to peel away

layers upon layers of muscles and sinews

until they get to gobble my heart

which still grows on its own

as long as I stand on this very ground.

This ground…this fickle mistress

Of both death and life.

Seasons upon seasons, I stand here-

Never wincing at the pain.

Children cry at my demise

But I laugh as the birds devour.

Milk

From the moment that we are born, the world is already telling us, preparing us to be adults.

I once thought that staying inside our rose-colored room would be enough. But you’re the adventurous type. You decided to open our door and the next thing I knew was the feeling of being submerged into a great flood.

Pissed, I reminded you that we were inside a submarine.

But you laughed it off and held out your hand for me. The water was becoming stronger now and both of us were sucked into the unknown.

I remember you swimming. I remember myself grasping your heel. See, I wasn’t strong enough.

You’re the one who led me to the shore- a vast space of brightness, noises and faces. I squinted at the man who held us with both of his hands. I remember seeing our faces in his pupils. Yes, ours.

It was breathtaking.

Back in our world, the only face I knew was yours. I spent time studying its features, hoping that mine isn’t too far off.

But under the glare of light, both of us were found awestruck. I turned to peek at you and you were quiet, still staring at the eyes of this man; marveling at the same thing as I was.

We are so beautiful. I cried.

But you didn’t. You shushed me with your stare and whispered into my mind that this is only just the surface. There is something else. I remembered you telling me. Find it. Don’t miss it.

Where is it? I asked. But you only smiled and closed your eyes.

That’s the last thing I heard from you before the man separated us. I pleaded him not to. But he didn’t understand me. I cried at you to plead with me, but you were silent. There was nothing that I could do but to cry. And to ask

But instead of you, they gave me milk. Milk, as the woman told me, will make my eyes clearer. Will make me stronger.

I needed the strength to find you. So I drank.

Milk tasted good. I thought growing up would be bitter but it was warm. It was comforting.

It painted my eyes white, making me see the world in its gleaming opaqueness.

It hardened the cage that was my bones- made it bigger, made it tougher.

My legs are strong enough to run to you now. My hands are already big enough to hold yours.

But my eyes couldn’t find you. So I drank more.

And more…

I don’t think I can ever live my life now without milk.

Up to this day, milk clouds my cups of coffee. But there are days- days when I wonder what is it like to see the other side of that dark finite ocean. Maybe you are there, staring back at my white eyes.

I wonder what they gave you, sister. Milk tells me that you are only in my mind- a figment of childhood. You’ve never existed.

To Oedipus, Future King

Oedipus and Sphinx by Gustave Moreau

Oedipus and Sphinx by Gustave Moreau

Everything is only an expression
of what we really want to say.
You
speak of digits that I could barely understand.
And I
respond in letters that barely mean anything.
When transposed, these conversations turn into
strings of equations
where a slight invariable
would mean an automatic 404.
We try our hardest not to tip the balance…
Or at least I do.
But does this change something? anything?
In the long run, the figures will run on its own
Like irrational numbers.
No process could stop them
From adding more and more complications at the end of its line.
But are you still there?
I don’t know whose equation is this, by the way.
I don’t know if you are just one of the many numbers that will pass my way,
Or if I am just an unknown variable that you might encounter
As you search for THE answer.
I don’t even know if this is the answer that you are looking for
Or if this confuddles your worksheet more.
I couldn’t speak in Math
the way your ancestors taught you to.
Hence, I couldn’t be objective. I couldn’t be systematic.
I couldn’t be rational.
I am only at my best- a riddle. A line from one of the many ambiguous poems
You’ve probably given up on.
A sphinx thrown into your way
Who would probably let you pass.