• Prose and poetry,  Relationships

    Ruminations on a candle

    Darkness envelops me in its impenetrability.

    I light a candle and watch its light flicker,

    tantalizing me with its slow, seductive dance.

    I gaze intently into the bright yellow tongue of flame, searching

    for an answer that may or may not show itself.

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  • Family,  Prose and poetry

    Out/running

    Another night, another fight, and this time it’s different. This time, I’m actually willing to throw a few punches of my own.

    It’s late by the time I slam the door behind me, yelling, bitch, leave me alone, and the wind hits my face like a slap, cold and hard and furious. There’s a lump in my throat and I feel as though I were choking, a dog with a leash tied ’round its neck, struggling to break free.

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  • Books and Comics,  Prose and poetry

    Matters of consequence

     
    Little prince, hear me,
    the tippler has convinced me that happiness could be found at the bottom of a bottle
    yet I remain lonesome on the planet of 1440 sunsets.
    Send your fox, my little prince,
    to remind me that my rose is unique in all the world
    to make me see sheep through the walls of boxes.
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  • Personal Favorites,  Prose and poetry,  Relationships

    Letting buses pass me by

    I dodge cars and trucks speeding by carelessly. I reach the other side of the road. Crossing the street without you holding my hand feels like tempting Death.

    city,street,light,vehicles,road
    Photo by Yiran Ding on Unsplash

    Standing on this street corner, I think of you. (I always think of you, of course, but tonight particularly.) I’m waiting for a bus to take me away from here and I suddenly remember how much I miss going home with you.

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  • Prose and poetry,  Relationships

    Glass on Water

    You’re a shy girl of sixteen. You keep your head down when you walk through the hallways, wear a shirt-and-jeans combo every day, keep to your circle of friends. In high school, when everyone’s obsessed with labels –jock, geek, loser, prom queen – you feel invisible, like glass on water,aimlessly floating adrift along the current.

    girl,dark,shadow
    Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
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  • Prose and poetry,  Relationships

    What do you see?

    Her eyes were in the back of her head.

    Shame, people said, she could have been really pretty. Soft jet-black hair, rosy lips, porcelain skin. Shame, they whispered, staring at her with their eyes placed just above their noses, in the front of their bodies, the way it’s supposed to be.

    Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash

    How could they not stare? Her delicate, perfectly shaped features—chin, lips, nose, ears—were completely eclipsed by the bizarre absence of eyes. The space above her nose was a stretch of smooth, blank skin. Her hair was long in front but very short in the back so she could see. She liked to call this a reverse mullet, but no one laughed at this. Maybe you had to have your eyes in the back of your head to see the humor.

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  • Prose and poetry,  Relationships

    These midnight blues

    It’s over. You’re gone. I’m getting used to it; bit by bit, the ache of longing in me is starting to fade, smoky and silent.

    Photo by Luca Laurence on Unsplash

    Come sunrise, I’m going to greet the world with a grin, and a charming bell of laughter.

    The thing is, I’m genuinely happy. There is no need to fake smiles, to cough up giggles. The thing is, I only come undone at night.

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  • Prose and poetry,  Ruminations

    Drag, hold, exhale

    “We should be out there making something of our lives instead of drinking again. After all, we’re young and free,” I said.
    “Free.” He let out a snort, sucking on a cigarette. “You think we’re free?”
    “Do you have to smoke?” I demanded, coughing.
    He exhaled smoke at my narrowed, watering eyes. “I don’t have to. But I want to.”
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  • Prose and poetry,  Relationships

    Bondage

    Tied down
    by dirty cotton bandages
    Forced back
    into an unyielding wooden spineboard
    I lie vulnerable,
    exposed for all the world to see
    Helpless
    in this game we play,
    bound to the idea
    of you and me.

    Inspired months ago, during my NSTP make-up session.

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  • Prose and poetry,  Relationships

    Somewhere in Manila, we fell in love.

    1:24 on a Thursday afternoon. With your hand in mine, determinedly walking ’round in circles, we found ourselves lost somewhere between Taft and Quiapo. The sun scorched us from overhead, and I could practically smell my hair burning. Crowds of unfriendly people jostled us back and forth. The scent of ihaw-ihaw wafted to our nostrils from the small stall we passed just a second ago.
    “Where are we going?” you asked, fed up.
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