This will be the last time I see
clouds as tall as skyscrapers.
In the city, buildings hover
all around us, insubstantial.
Sunset through a canyon.
Between walls. A decade for sale.
I am unable to fathom nature here.
Rumours in snow melt, the thin wind.
Maize roasting over charcoal,
many hands wave the smoke away.
How could I know what was coming?
A relief to look up and recognise nothing.
Filipino idiom meaning without importance or ability (literally, saying nothing)
Walâng tinátánaw na búkas
the point is, we have this to look forward to
awful today, better tomorrow, we walk, we run
bedroom, bathroom, nod once, hum, then twice
the treadmill’s steady thrum underfoot, to and from
thorny questions best avoided, like are these your
carpet burns on my glutes, our backs my lover
waits to enter, knocks, hesitant, precipitant
eight times a second and I’m breathing hard, out, in
years might scroll pleasantly like this, future, past, both
I can look, and might not see, these square instances
want is desire is need, pick one, pick all, pick any
to secure steadfastly with a click, an existential
hurt, gut and quick to soothe our quarrel
still the light thins, still your argument wins
Filipino idiom meaning does not hope for a bright future (literally, does not see any tomorrow)
Nangabuwál sa dilím
too hard to
when one could
the best of us will
so please accept
along with this
Filipino idiom meaning died a hero (literally, fell in the dark)
Nagbibilang ng bituin
Lift the hook from its eye, and I’m in your life, your house a taj
once you’re inside it. I climb to the attic, this excitement tabu.
Very gingerly, tiptoe to lie in your bed ‘til you arrive, lift sheets,
exposing me, but are unsurprised. We learn from each other’s skin, wet
and dry, and back again, slow diligent homunculus, warm sentient yeti,
nocturnal for this encounter, unfamiliar together, strange and antic.
Despite a stack of odds, we fit against the sky and stars. And here we are.
Filipino idiom meaning dreaming, hopeless; counting gain in advance (literally, counting stars)
Nagsukatan ng lakis