One day,
You will wake up at 4 am.
You will pour yourself water from the glass pitcher.
Fluorescent light from the fridge
Mimics the moon as it paints your room,
You won’t think of her.
You will go back to bed,
Not feeling the absence of her warmth beside you. Instead,
You find comfort in the warm white sheets.
You will sleep.
Lulled by the consoling hums of the AC,
As if the cosmos do not know you’re empty—

But tonight,
You pour from the glass pitcher,
Cold against your dry hands,
You look for her.
In the ripples of the water.
You drink it.
Coolness soothe your arid lips,
You go back to bed.
The moon paints silhouettes on your room,
Light leaks through the crevices
Of the broken window.
The AC shudders loudly,
You will try to sleep.
You won’t.

What I Wanted To Say

“I wonder where we’ll be in ten years,”
You said as you traced your palm lines with your finger.

I looked at you,
Your eyes blue against the 6:00 pm sky.
I’ll still be here, I wanted to say,
Looking at those eyes, oh those eyes,
Looking at you.

But instead I said,
“You’ll be wherever you’ve always wanted to go.”

You thought for a second,
Looked above the empty sky, to my eyes,

“I’ll be in space,
Floating and possibly not breathing.” You replied smiling.

How easy for you,
I wanted to say,
To tell me that you can’t possibly survive in space.
When I can’t breathe just by looking at you and those eyes,
oh those eyes, looking at me.

Right then and there, I could’ve sworn that gravity does not exist.
That I could fly by the mere way of you sitting beside me,
Our elbows barely touching, the sweet smell of sweat on the back of your neck,
Your voice dancing in the darkness with crickets –a symphony.

Take me, I wanted to say,
By the hand and let’s fly, to wherever you’ve always wanted to go,
To space, let my exhales be your inhales, let’s breathe each other to survive.

Trace the lines of my palm, I wanted to say,
And just look at me with those eyes, oh those eyes.

“You wanted to say something?” You asked.

“Nothing,” I said.
“Nothing at all.”

Before the sun rises

I stare across me— at the empty chair, blank picture frame, and broken wall clock that ticks slowly.

Most nights— I think of you. You lay beside me as you hold my hand and raise it against the fluorescent lamp. You’d squint as the light passes through the crevices of our interlaced fingers. But I, I will look at you. The light shining on your face. It is perfect, it has always been.

Some nights— when I can’t sleep, I stare at the blank picture frame. At 3:00 am, I think of you. Of how you used to squint your eyes when you see me from a distance. So I stare at the darkness, Perhaps, if I squint hard enough, I’d see you here.

But tonight— just before the sun rises, I think of you. When you can only hear the sound of distant cars passing by, the city waking up, and the slow ticks of the broken wall clock. Tick, tick, tick. As I still stare at the empty chair, and blank picture frame,

I think of you— and maybe, just maybe, you are thinking of me too.

When the World Offers You Loneliness

Open your door and invite Loneliness in,
Let him sit across you in your empty room, ask
If he wants a drink of water or perhaps, wine.
He will not answer. Instead, hand him a glass,
Drink with him and tell him about last night.
When Silence cuddled beside you in your bed
And how you offered her your blanket.
Tell him you haven’t slept because you stared
Into her cold blue eyes as it turned orange.
Tell him you know, you know he is coming,
He always comes. He knows you know. He
Will whisper your own name like it’s his, his lips
Cool against your ear. By now, you have your hands
Grasped around the collar of his shirt, your face
Buried on his flushed pulsing neck, wet
From the concoction that is your tears and his sweat.
In a matter of seconds both are undressed, skin
To skin, sweat to sweat, chest to chest, trace
The line of his damp spine with your hands,
From the nape of his neck to his chiseled back.
Feel every rib, like ridges of an ancient valley.
Moan his name as he whispers yours gently,
Say it over and over and over
Again until you become him and him you,
Let yourself be one with the other.

Then he leaves— in between moans
And whispers— without you noticing,
Your empty room now feels emptier.
Silence slithers and she stares. You lie naked.
As you slowly close your eyes, the door
Slowly closes but never fully.

In The Rain (Everything Is Gray)

Puddled concrete pavements reflect the ashen gray
clouds, the sun shines without a trace in the January
sky. The sound of raindrops—softly clanging unto thin
metal rooftops—voids other noise. I count the days
of your absence in cups of bitter coffee. My hand yearns for yours
as I hold the steaming mug, then I sip the bitter. It never tastes
sweet despite the heaps of sugar I put in, perhaps
it’s my numb tongue, perhaps—
everything is in grayscale after you left
I light a stick of cigarette. Smoke thaws my freezing
fingertips, I let it. I hold the smoke in for a moment
before exhaling. From my bedroom window—raindrops
tap, tap, tap against the glass pane—I look across the street.
The rainwater keeps chasing the sidewalk,
the rain doesn’t seem to stop.


This has been published in the Issue 5: “At Rest” of The Youth is on Fire, the e-zine of Philippine STAR’s! Read the e-zine here for free: