abo sa dila

May iniisip ka? Oo. Ano? Ayaw kong sabihin. Baka magkatotoo.

Dahil makulit ka
Kilala kita. Oo, ikaw 'yun: Nagkasalubong na tayo minsan, sa LRT, sa Gotohan, sa kanto ng Aurora at Katipunan. Nagkatinginan tayo. Hindi mo ako kinausap, pero alam ko, nakilala mo rin ako. Kaya ka narito, di ba? Para sabihing, Oo, oo, ikaw nga 'yun. Naaalala kita.
O, ha, Plurk, o, ha!
Radyo? Radyo?
Libreng humirit

Mag-exercise tayo tuwing umaga
Tambay ka muna
Lokal Kolor
Ano'ng hanap mo?
Basa lang nang basa
Tropa ko

    na, mula noong 24 Enero, 2006, ang nakitambay dito

Poem Written After the Long Ride from the Airport
Monday, February 19, 2007

Hello said the girl
at departures. Hello said the guy
at the baggage counter.
Goodbye said the tarmac
to a hundred waving hands. Goodbye
said the girl to the flood-battered shack
by the railroad tracks, said she
to the weather-torn archipelago,
said you to me while the stars dreamed
dreams of soil and salt, shifting shorelines,
land bridges before the last ice age.
Goodbye said you and in maybe two,
three years you’d be back with a guitar
and maybe we could sing. In a book
by me you’d have another name.
In a song by me I’d call you Lala
and in the chorus I’d sing your name
over and over again and everyone else
would sing along but no one would know
that it was your name they were humming
like small birds to. A small bird
that loves nectar. That hovers over flowers.
Goodbye said the petal, but I know
you’ll be back by midnight,
when I’ll be cold, asleep,
silver like moonlight.


The waiting is long and you need to pee
but all the stories about stolen luggage
make you want to pee
into a styrofoam cup instead.
Remember when Dad drove the pickup
into a tree? Remember your first mug of coffee?
In that song by me Dad would be there too
but he wouldn’t drive the pickup
into a coconut tree. He’d ram it into the gates
of hell and they won’t let him in, the devils,
the muffled voices saying something about stealing
Satan’s throne. But you loved Dad,
him and his card tricks and days
when we couldn’t watch cartoons.
Him with a beer watching a boxing match
while we were locked upstairs, our ears
against the termite-ridden plywood walls,
listening to the neighbor’s radio, to a rapper
telling us to look not for beauty.
But for what? Here I am saying you loved him
as if he were dead. Or as if you don’t anymore.
But of course you do, the way you said
goodbye to him too, a cigarette in hand,
airplanes howling overhead. Quarters,
you said, not benchingko,
goodbye you said while your words drifted
like a tattered rubber slipper
floating on floodwater. Then rain
like rust. Pocketfuls of mud.


I see you in the webcam of my mind
and you’re feeding ninety-year-olds
osterized papayas. Play-dough.
Mashed brains of homeless Vietnam vets.
I see you and they’re begging you to put salt
on their pancakes. Fucking retirement homes,
even pancakes taste like soil.
And what does soil taste like?
Like a two-second delay
over the whine of static, like hello
on my tongue as I pull the phone
closer to my mouth. No, Daddy
never drove the pickup into a tree.
No, we never owned a pickup.
We owned old newspapers and a pair of slippers each.
We owned marbles and kites and toy trucks
with plastic wheels that wobbled over gravel.
If I were a tire I’d be full of mud
and I’d hate the tropics.
If you were a tire you’d go
round and round. If you were
a ferris wheel. Goodbye said you
on the cold ascent. Goodbye
and please pass the salt. Goodbye
like a coin down a payphone,
down a vending machine,
hello said the coke
and it’s so goddamn cold.


Goodbye said the poem
though not everything had been said.
Goodbye said the poem as the crystal tongue
of my heart dissolved into mist,
became stone, broke
into song, mud caking on soles, gray
post-rain skies, your name over
and over again, my darkness
weaving into voice. Though I wish
it were yours. You saying hello as you took off
your shoes, hello have you eaten,
hello crouched in the creaky ferris wheel
of our childhood, shadows
and yoyos saying down I go
and wait for me, pull me up, I’ll be back
soon like the night, like a two-letter refrain,
like rain leaving yesterday and today’s
another day. Goodbye said everyone
as time zones flew past windows.
Goodbye said the stars as they burned
their way to you. Goodbye said I
as I waited for them again and again,
hello I said again and again and again.
posted by mdlc @ 9:57 PM  
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