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I Saw You In A Newspaper Handed To Me Today

I was tired, feet fatigued. I only had an hour to spare,
and in the sardine-packed Starbucks it seemed like relaxation
was but a juvenile dream.

All corners were populated, over-impregnated,
but just as I was about to give up and leave,
You, through the kindness of a stranger,
blessed me with peace.

"Miss, please, take my seat. Take this newspaper if you like to read. It’s not much, but you seem like you’ve a lot on your mind. Put aside your burdens, if only for this small frame of time."

The paper was, simply, nondescript. There was no booming headline
or breaking news. There really was nothing but nothing-out-of-
the-ordinary news. There were deaths, thefts, sports columns,
how-to’s. There were pages and pages of ads, sales, more “news.”
But the gleaming grace of the grey ink paper in my hand was not
the paper nor the contents but the moon-eyed man who extended
his hand, his selflessness.

I found the offer to be a rare feat; in the city that never sleeps,
I have been at the butt-end of jokes, the burned cigarette butt
stomped on cold asphalt, but rarely, rarely, have I seen —
even more rarely, have I received — even a semblance
of niceties not two-faced, of amity unsolicited.

Setting Sail

with my ear pressed against the porcelain terrain of her collarbone
i’m convinced i can hear the sea.

the shadows of branches outside undulate like moonlight off waves
and the gentle cadence of her chest moving
rocks me in a boat to my dreams.

i am in that moment before descent, the purgatory before sleep.
i sigh into her neck and in my last few breaths of consciousness
she is everything to me.

homecoming

i dream

of letting you see

the country

you bought for me.

i dream

of buying plane tickets

for each of you

with the riches that i robbed from you

the riches that were sacrificed by you

because you

wanted to give me life.

i dream

of new york city lights

and your face

illuminated

your laughter

louder than the bleeting of taxi cabs

larger than lines at halal guy food stands

brighter than times square

anywhere —

i dream

of you.

i dream

of you

and me

munching on scones

as we walk past radio city

not a care in the world.

i dream of you

finally

set free

finally

here with me

i dream of you

sadly.

"equinox" featured on mad swirl : the poetry forum

In my twenty-someodd years of existence, only a handful of my poems, short stories, vignettes, and bundles of word excretion have been recognized. I’m not bitter about it in the least — rather, I delight in the almost virginal excitement whenever someone tells me they like my work.

Now then. Back to the factory…

to the cute server

How did people stalk before
Facebook? Was it really just like
this? Where I visit your shop daily,
during your shift, and eye you
"innocently" as you drift between
tables in your plaid white dress? Your
beanie bobs as you fervently nod at
your customer’s requests, “Oh sir,
really, really! That pie’s the best. And
with this coffee too, it’s simply
divine—” your dimpled smile making
me wish all the more that you were
mine. But how does this work? Do I
just chat you up? Ask, “How do you
do?” Do I give you my number, and a
big tip, too? I don’t want to pay for
"services," mind you, but I do hope
you’d spare a few minutes of your time.
But I really don’t know how this
goes…I mean, I’ve seen it all the time
on day-time soaps and TV shows…but
real life and scripted life are not one
and the same. But I digress, I digress…oh?
Twelve already? I must be on my way.

So…Until tomorrow, coffee shop girl.
One day, I promise, I will ask you out
     far beyond this coffee shop world.

the wounded hero is the most courageous.

I am here across the sea
praying for my brothers in calamity.
Our home is a war zone,
with roofs of tin littering the streets,
with endless tears falling at the feet
of those who walked for miles
and miles, one mile
for every grain of rice to feed
a country nearly running short on dreams.

They say relief will take days, and
reconstruction — decades.

But we’re called Waray:
not because we have nothing to lose,
but because we won’t stop building
and rebuilding because

we refuse

to lose.

Ang bayaning nasusugatan, nag-iibayo ang tapang.

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