we will kiss the sun

Itinerary to waste your precious little life (5th of many)

Train my heart not to—suggest a subtle word here—care too much about distance or time or reality—how do we even start defining this?—or other circumstances leading to its—gonna use a big word here, look—breakage. I try to avoid to use the word heart—because look how futile the word is in trying to circumnavigate the meanings implausibly left. But what can I do? I am weak, too. You need to remind me of how and who am I actually kidding.

Slow my pulse down, hold my heart up to the sun.

I caught myself smiling and dancing in the middle of the road in the middle of the night in the middle of the month in the middle of a wavering of a voice. I listened; you were singing about how love travels at the speed of light, how “the sun and the moon made a deal with the sky—one would take the morning and the other the night—together they would blanket the world with light.” You tapped your feet—one, two, swayed your arms—three, four. For a moment, I thought you were a dancer trapped inside a human being.

Sing my heart later to sleep, make it dance—what in the actual, real fuck—to the beat. I leave living for these moments.

How funny it is how we both sometimes wish we could pluck our hearts out and offer them to the askals that are hungry for days already. Possibly because some of the facts surrounding us and our country, we cannot contain. Tell me how do we even start the series of slow comprehension. We laugh at the rain, the buses, the heavy traffic, the ankle-deep ordinarily-seen almost-everyday flood.

Sing my soul—calm it, damn it, stop it—to sleep.

Look how lucky we are: we wear our hearts on our sleeves.

Itinerary to waste your precious little life (4th of many)

Karaoke night with a flier girl

After walking around the city and rummaging secondhand bookstores, we’ll talk to the promo girl assigned to distribute fliers on the side of the motel from 7 pm onwards. You’ll approach her, flashing your charming (believe me, it is!) smile. She’ll give us two copies of the flier. I’ll ask her about the 30% discount, how the customers can avail, what time is her sched on this task, what days she is on-duty. She’ll answer those things because she’s bored, and will tell us about her daughter, Angel, now on third grade, how she studies so well, how she’s always at the top of her class after grading periods.

We’ll know that the flier girl has the same province as mine. We’ll laugh about this coincidence, how cool it is to meet in this rainy city, and the two of us will exchange a few phrases you’ll not understand. You’ll try to mimic us, the way we say L like they’re infused with the Sunday’s lazy afternoon nap. We’ll ask her if she can join us in our karaoke session on this night. A joke at first, but she, being a single mother, given that her daughter is at her mother’s house, the whole thing is for free, will, of course, come with us for a night to commemorate our passing youth. But first, the fliers.

Fliers go to hell! You’ll say this aloud after distributing a couple of them, trying to help in the distribution. (Please trust me on this one: you do not know adorable you are. You do not know! You are clueless! I do not try to tell you this.) On the other side of the street, the karaoke machines will be blasting, the mics will be waiting for our turn to sing our weary little hearts out.

Beers, of course, for this night of coincidence! After three months of not even a taste of alcohol, I will drink. While the two of you sing, the madwoman walking along the street will shout: The city makes us crazy; the pastor from a religious group standing near the overpass will declare to the people passing: Look at tomorrow, we can still be saved.

By 7 am, we’ll be too drunk to realize we’re drunk, sitting on the sidewalk. Your head on her right shoulder, her head on my right shoulder; we’ll be like toppled dominoes. The signage of the motel will still be glowing with LED lights, like a special monument where desire openly begins and immediately ends. Couples will start to come out of the main door. On the couples’ faces: what a strangely happy night. A young couple will hold hands, they are tender to each other because it is Sunday morning. I will be still, and will try not to wake the both of you up.

I don’t care, go on and tear me apart. I don’t care if you do.

Itinerary to waste your precious little life (3rd of many)

We will smoke these overpriced cigarettes from Thailand and Cambodia, with their unreadable labels warning us about dangers of living and death that may come later, under the stupid drizzle, with bottles of beer in our hands. It will be Saturday night again. I will listen to you talking about ideas of heroes of the revolutions, long dead, half-remembered, vaguely loved. I will listen to your stories of their loneliness, their failed desires, their letters left unanswered by their lovers from the other side of the world, and the coordinated patience that waiting requires of us, failed romantics of the ancient and modern world. Punyeta, we are all lonely, for millenia and millenia na, you’ll say. I know, I’ll say, not trying to convince myself that I, of course, without doubt, know this. The hours and passersby, we will not notice. I will not hug you tonight. Forgive me, love, my heart, this time, will not be strong enough, according to my very limited knowledge, to allow myself to feel your skin again and let go, as far as I know, of you few seconds after touching. Forgive me, love, there will be no more apologies, no, just for tonight.

Itinerary to waste your precious little life (2nd of many)

We will watch the oldest or the longest films, sharing the darkness inside the cinema house. I will try to concentrate on how the protagonists breathe or smoke. I will fail, of course, because I know I will want to kiss you, and I will, of course, of course, kiss you, kiss you on your cheek. Love, this light we will be seeing contains worlds and we will walk in them. Walk with me, let it take us, into another world, an other world, other worlds.

Itinerary to waste your precious little life (1st of many)

I will try to write about you, slowly building this castle of words where you can get lost, where you can recognize yourself in some reflections on the walls of letters or a secret corridor of phrases leading to the moments that I will stare at your eyes, and your lips will move towards my cheek not to kiss, but to whisper: Where have you been? I will whisper back: Love, tie a small string around my little heart. It has been yours all along.

Matapos ang ilang taon, pangangailangan ang pagkikita.

Para kay Hya

Panuto: Subukang basahin at unawain ang bawat pangungusap. Piliin at isulat ang titik ng tamang sagot.

1. (a) Pumunta ka sa Cubao ng alas syete.
(b) Bakit ka pumunta sa Cubao bago mag-alas syete?
(c) Bakit kailangang pumunta sa Cubao ng alas syete?

2. (a) Bakit tinatanong ang bakit?
(b) Bakit mahirap sagutin ang bakit?
(c) Bakit kailangan sagutin kung bakit mahirap sagutin ang bakit?

3. (a) Bakit paano?
(b) Paano tatanungin ang bakit?
(c) Bakit tatanungin ang paano?

4. (a) Wala palang pinapangarap na umaga ang mga pangako.
(b) Walang umagang maipapangako ang pangarap sa atin.
(c) Wala pang maipapangakong pangarap ang umaga sa atin.

Dalawang Pangungusap

Wala ka naman talagang pinanghahawakan kundi mga salitang hindi mo na mahahanap sapagkat nakasakay ka sa mabilis na jeep ngayon na nagbibigay sa iyo ng pansamantalang karapatang hindi tumapak sa lupa gamit ang iyong mga paa na pagod na mula pa kanina sa kalalakad at kahahanap ng mga maiintindihang mga nakakubling konsepto sa bituka ng siyudad na araw-araw mong marahang nilalanghap ang batok na bilad sa init ng araw o basa sa alimuom na para bang kasintahan mong matagal mo nang hindi nasilayan kung hagkan, at dahan-dahan mong hinihimas ang balat ng pang-araw-araw na kagandahan na hindi mo na rin napapansin dahil sa ang nakikita mo ay ang liwanag lamang na tumatama sa mga tao at bagay, hindi mismo ang mga tao at bagay na pinagod ng buong maghapon sa kawalan ng mapanghahawakan at pagod muli ngayong gabi habang nakadungaw ka sa bukas na pintuan sa harapan ng jeep.

“July Rain” ang sabi ng karatulang nangungusap na sumama ka muna pansamantala sa dilim na makapagbibigay-linaw sa ibig sabihin ng tunay na kaligayahan, sa saliw ng tunog ng bandang ito at sa mga katawang umiinit o nanlalamig, depende kung kanino tumatabi o tumitingin, kahit sa panandaliang panahon, kahit sa isang kislap lamang ng mga mata ng mga estrangherong makakausap at makakatitigan mo at makikilala mo nang bahagya, hindi sa malalim na paraan, alam mo na ito, dahil ang lalim ay hindi naaabot sa maikling sandali ng pagkilala sa gabing maulan, sa gabi na pinagpaubaya mo ang iyong katawan sa tangay ng umiilaw na karatulang nagsasabing Hulyo ngayon, maulan, gabi, at mag-isa ka kaya wala kang ibang maaaring piliin kundi ito at ito ang pinakanararapat mong gawin upang makalimutan mong hinahanap mo pa rin kung bakit kailangan at paano sasabihin sa buong kalawakan na oo, buhay tayo at ito ang ibig sabihin na maging buhay, o mga malalalim na mga kasabihan na makapagbibigay ng kahulugan sa pagkakataong ito sa buhay mo na wala kang mahawakan kundi ang mga parirala at maya-maya, malamang sa malamang ay wala na namang mga salitang darating, walang kalinawan at walang mga ideya na makapagpapaintindi sa iyo na hindi naman talaga pangmatagalang lunas ang malamig na Red Horse sa pag-iisa o paghahanap ng mga ideyang makapagtatawid sa iyo sa buhay na ito tungo sa susunod pang mga taon na walang kasiguraduhan at ikaw, bilang gabi naman ngayon at nakainom ka, titingin ka sa papaulang kalangitang walang maiaalay na buwan o mga tala at pipikit at ibubulong sa sarili, hindi sa kawalan dahil baka mapagkamalan ka pang “cool” at malalim mag-isip at mahilig mapag-isa sa dami ba naman ng pwedeng makasama at makilala at makahalikan at makausap sa pagkakataong ito, ibubulong sa loob ng isip lamang, na baka-sakali, kung susubukan mong mag-isip muli, at susubukan mo pang muli, nang mas matagal o nang mas maigi at nang mas matindi, baka mayroon ngang mga salitang dumating.

Maulan sa siyudad, yayakapin kita.

Kung ang siyudad ay isang tula, wala itong simula.
Kung ang ulan ay siyudad, wala itong kayakap.
Kung ang tula ay ang yakap mo, pikit-mata akong magsisimula.

Tahimik ang gabi sa siyudad, tatabihan kita sa iyong pag-upo.

Kung ang puso ay distansiya, wala itong mga salita.
Kung ang gabi ay puso, wala itong talata.
Kung ang distansiya ay ang mga talata, tutumbasan ko ng mga salita.