The Hymn of the Broken

I am not going to be a tragedy

This is what I say to myself everytime the world turns a bit dark.

Calling out to the shadows of my happier self,

I scream.

 

I am not going to be a tragedy

I repeat it like a sacred prayer–palms closed, eyes drunk with despair.

Again, and again, and again

I pray.

 

Even as I finish obsessing each and every pain that my mind secretly carries,

I still do not want to be the kind of rain that creates thunderstorms.

My heart, no matter how exhausted it is, still longs for rainbows.

Therefore, I am not going to be a tragedy.

 

The walls of my room may tell me there’s nowhere to go,

But the wind, and the sun, and the trees are whispering, “there is”

And I am not going to be a tragedy because I believe this.

I am alive and I believe this.

 

 

 

 

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If There Were Such Things As Galaxies

 

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Photo from AmourAmelia

 

A Tumblr post once told me that galaxies reside within my body.

It was one of those 3 AM nights filled with inexplicable loneliness and okay, maybe…hunger.

Months later, when a random phone call informed me that a dear friend took her own life, I did not think about the galaxies.

I did not think about the said constellations around my body–such meaningless names for lifeless beauties.

I did not think about the billions and billions of stars running through my blood, said to provide light because damn it! There are some places I rather not visit.

When the rain wept along with me on that particular September night, I realized Science is once again right.

There are no galaxies–only water and blood. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Because if there were galaxies, I would not feel blankets of heavy water tugging at my feet.

If there were stars then surely, surely, she would have seen them, admired them, tried to live instead of leave.

Do you believe me now? There are no galaxies! 

Last week, when my mother jokingly told me to kill myself, I almost told her about the meteor showers sleeping deep within me.

How these cluster of stones can fulfill her wishes and please, please, do not give me the permission I need. 

When I woke up this morning, my same old mind telling me it wants to die, I felt like a remnant of a dead galaxy.

NASA said that galaxies are ripped apart when they encounter strong tidal forces–well lately, my sadness has turned into a huge, screaming, tidal force I cannot always battle.

Therefore, Science is right. I am being ripped apart…there are days where I can no longer conjure sentences, a task as familiar as the scent of my bed.

Science is right!

A black hole can cause turbulence in a galaxy which may result to its death. I am scared of the fact that my heart resembles a black hole, building friendships with darkness and misery.

Two years ago, I thought there were no such things as galaxies living inside of me but I have forgotten that half of the stars in the night-sky are nothing but corpses!

And probably what she saw was a spitting image of herself, likely the one I also see in the mirror during the very bad days.

If galaxies were real, I am terrified of the idea that my time has already ended, the stars running in my veins are more dead than alive.

So please, please, do not let the galaxies be real. 

Somewhere between sleeping and living

I’ll sleep until the unwanted passes,

Until every horrible well in my mind shushes.

I’ll sleep until my eyes forget what it feels like to see the first rays of sunshine,

Or how I look like bathing on it during the good days—

Smiling, laughing, dreaming.

 

I’ll sleep until the knots inside my head break free,

Until the loud pounding in my chest reverts back to a heartbeat.

I’ll sleep until my toes forget what it feels like to stand,

To have the strength to lead the way and the power to stop.

Lately, all I wish is for the world to stop.

 

I’ll sleep until the darkness becomes a friend,

Until the hushed pleas turn into echoes— help asking for help.

I’ll sleep until I forget how to conjure whimsical adventures in my dreams,

Because if dreams represent reality, I’d have thunderstorms as my sun—

My skin a hint of goodbyes and broken promises, my breath: lifeless.

 

So, I’ll sleep once more,

Hoping not to be blue as the skies and deep as the ocean.

I’ll sleep, sleep tight—

Tighter than the bedroom of the screams I keep,

Thinking, feeling, wishing: a better tomorrow.

I’m learning how to count to ten. Again.

 

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This design is based on one of the teasers for IU’s Palette album. You can find it here: Palette teasers

 

I’m losing confidence as each day passes by,

Carrying a weary heart, only numbers speak sense.

One, two, three.

How much time has passed?

It feels like I’ve been staring at my bedroom wall a little too much.

 

I turned twenty the other day,

Unlike before, my eyes were dry–

Just like a stale birthday cake.

Four, five, six…

I can’t figure out which is worse.

 

Has it been a week? Or maybe two?

If anything else, I’m glad I learned to count in school.

Hurry up, my mind is turning into dust, my sanity’s on the verge of mistrust.

Seven, eight, nine.

Am I really here? Is that person really me?

 

My eyes were open again this morning,

I don’t know if I should be glad–I’m thinking too much.

Listen, dear heart, were you really this weak?

Ten. I reached ten. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?

Maybe the truth is, I’m at the beginning. The start. Zero.

6/23/17

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Taken at CDC Parade Grounds, Clark City (5/14/17)

Doon tayo magkita sa hangganan ng kahapon at bukas,

Sa sandaling mas maigting ang ligaya sa kalungkutan,

Sa saglit na oras kung saan maaring limutin ang kinabukasan.

 

Doon tayo magkita sa hangganan ng kahapon at bukas,

Kung saan ang araw ay marahang yumayakap sa gabi,

Kung saan maaaninag ang tuwa mula sa iyong labi.

 

Doon tayo magkita sa hangganan ng kahapon at bukas,

Sa maliit na espasyong binuo lamang sa panaginip,

Sa panandaliang pag-asang makikita ka pang muli.

June

Note: I wrote this poem while listening to Kina Grannis’ California on loop. I didn’t know why, but I started crying as soon as I heard the first few words. This song made me write about the things I kept in the farthest places in my mind. I feel sad and vulnerable but like always, I know this will pass.

***

Summer kissed by regrets,

The wind catches my breath.

Daylight’s almost leaving,

Gentle waves kept crashing —

Trying to wash the pain.

 

Things I Probably Shouldn’t Say

You overheard someone calling you a bitch in the hallway today,
Maybe it’s because of the color painted on your lips.
It was dark, crimson red–the color of blood.
“Bitch,” she said.

Three AM, your phone was ringing,
“I want to die,” a friend whispered.
You painted your lips with a dark, crimson red–the color of blood.
Maybe they won’t notice how much it quivers.

“Bitch.”
You saw it in a stranger’s eyes while looking at you,
Maybe it’s because you closed your eyes in the whole jeepney ride–
Pretending not to hear any sound.

You saw the marks on her wrists yesterday,
Eyes filled with tears, you offered her a hug.
“Bitch.”
Closing your eyes, you acted like nothing’s wrong.

Someone asked you if your heart is functioning correctly,
If you have a capability to feel anything–
Maybe it’s because of your straight face, the one you always wear.
“Bitch.”

She offered you a smile today, claiming she’s fine,
“The last person who said that is now lying on the ground, out of breath,” you wanted to say.
Maybe it’s because you no longer possess your heart but why aren’t you feeling anything?
“Bitch.”

You saw yourself in the mirror today.
Maybe it’s because of all of the needless crying,
“Bitch”
Sometimes you wish you could be one.

Things I Need to Say Today

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I’m sorry. I miss you and I wish you were here. It’s the most basic thing to say but it’s the truest thing that ever came out of my quivering lips.

I’m sorry. I miss you and I wish you were here. September’s gone and so are your smiles—like the branches being carried away by the river’s rage…you have packed them all away.

I’m sorry. I miss you and I wish you were here. I heard the song you used to sing today and I kept on hitting replay; it is as if you’re going to come back if I listen to it one more time, one more time.

I’m sorry. I miss you and I wish you were here. I can still remember the day I saw you crying alone in the hallway—I approached you and hugged you and I told you that if you’ll be happier if you leave the organization, do it. Those words are still haunting me until today.

I’m sorry. I miss you and I wish you were here. There are days when I feel so damn guilty for breathing. It is as if I have already lost my right to live ever since the darkness took you away.

I’m sorry. I miss you and I wish you were here. I’m building a castle of nightmares founded with what ifs. I’m building an ocean where no sails could be lost and forgotten. I’m building a life without your warmth and embrace.

I’m sorry. I miss you and I wish you were here. I know yours were the most painful “see you again” that will ever escape my quivering lips.

To my five year old cousin, please never grow old

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I can still remember the day you asked me why the paper cranes hanging on top of my bed doesn’t seem to fly.

I recalled sleepily telling you, “It’s because they’re still too young.” And you replied with an incredibly ridiculous, “Why?!” 

The next morning, I woke up only to find you sitting right beside the cranes, blowing as hard as you can-trying your best to teach them how to fly.

When you saw me looking, you smiled so brightly and proudly told me, “Look, they’re flying!” 

Dearest, I want you to remember that moment whenever the world turns you down. Whenever it discourages or belittles you or when it stops you from doing what you want to do just because you’re too young. Too inexperienced.

I want you to remember that there is a way. There will always be a way. And that sometimes, all we really need is just a little push, just a soft blow, and we’ll be able to fly.

 

To my five year old cousin, please never grow old,

Never stop saving the biscuit you dropped in your hot, sweet milk; hands as steady as a surgeon, calmly whispering “It’s going to be okay” over and over again as the biscuit’s core slowly crumbles.

Dearest, I want you to know that there are people who chooses to sink. There are people who prefers to bury themselves together with the leftover powdered milk; like a silly metaphor for their once, innocent dreams.

I want to tell you to never let them go. Never let them sink. Scoop them up with your little metal spoon, bring them to your mouth and whisper, “It’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay.” 

 

To my five year old cousin, please never grow old,

Continue singing the lullaby you learned in school whenever you see me cry and I will continue to defend you to your mother, who keeps on telling you that the yellow star on your small hands which says, “Good!” is not good enough. Because believe me, it is good enough. You are good enough.

Continue waking me up in the morning with that cheeky smile of yours and I will continue to tell my father to stop deciding your future; that you’re not his to begin with and that the game you should be playing is rock, paper, and scissors not “Please Father, spare me some glances!” 

Continue being the kid who cried because I told him that his favorite cartoon characters, Peppa and George, is what we had for dinner last night and I will continue to fight for you.

I will never let you shrink yourself so that your body can fit into a tiny ribboned box, like a goddamned Christmas present being displayed for everyone’s amusement.

Continue riding your bike fearlessly through the wind because I will never let you live like me. I will never let you be treated as a decoration or a proof of good parenting.

I will not let them hang you like they did to me. Treating me like a dusty paper crane, swinging in midair-while they are below, screaming, that I don’t have the capability to fly.

Because until you, I didn’t know how to fly.

So please, when you do grow old, never forget that you’re someone who believed that everyone can be saved, even a half-drowning cookie, and that kisses heals any kind of pain.

That once, when you were five, you taught people how to fly.