Anatomy of Faces and Hues

 

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From our exhibit last February 28 about mental health awareness (Photo taken by me)

 

When people ask me if I am doing fine,

I close my eyes and pick a color farthest from the nightmares in my mind.

“I’m fine,” I say, as I watch myself paint another face.

Another masterpiece, another lie–today I’ve survived.

 

When people ask me if I am doing fine,

I examine the ugly scars in my body and imagine an unblemished canvas.

“I’m alright,” I whisper, choosing a red, blissful face.

Another masterpiece, another lie–today I’ve survived.

 

When people ask me if I am doing fine,

My mind immediately cries–while my hands automatically pick the brush.

“I will be okay,” I promise, as my demon wakes.

Another masterpiece, another lie–today I’ve survived.

 

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.

My Mind is an Endless Zoo

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(Photo not mine. All credits belong to its proper owner)

Lips sealed,

Repressed memories,

Lone bird watching,

Fighting the urge to flee.

 

Flowing letters,

Of pieces shattered–

Feisty shark awaits,

Tearing off verses and flesh.

 

Tipsy feelings,

Paired with burnt lungs and promises.

Tigers prancing along the flames,

Leaving embers dressed as kisses.

 

Sleeping portraits,

Of wasted colors and tomorrows,

Voiceless parakeet singing,

Body hanging like a crooked comma–aiming for defeat.

Lost in a maze called, “Today”

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Today seems like an ordinary day,

Instead of chirping birds, I stare at dusty paper cranes.

Outside, the world continued to play

Unaware of things called, “pain”

 

Today seems like an ordinary day,

Waking up and avoiding the mirror like a game,

Hiding in the darkest corners, as if to say there isn’t a way –

With thoughts like these, it’s a challenge to stay sane.

 

Today seems like an ordinary day,

Nauseous of bitter coffee and emptiness.

I glance at the sky but all I see is gray,

Mimicking my self-portrait of hopelessness.

 

Today seems like an ordinary day,

The bent umbrella foolishly soaking in the rain,

As if begging the misery to run away,

Loading heartbreaks disguised as suitcases in the last passenger train.

 

Call(u)ses

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From the film “A Werewolf Boy” (I do not own the photo. All rights goes to its proper owner.)

Unwanted memories residing in my heart,

Crashes like a tidal wave again.

Like a soft, sadistic melody,

Tears instantly falls.

Time says it’s flying,

(I can hardly differentiate night and day) 

I guess bad memories can grow wings, too.

 

The black ink of my pen have memorized you,

Like the yellow painted flowers always aching for the sun.

Eyes closed, right and left, periods and parentheses-

My callused hands traced you,

Engulfed in your shadows,

Word by word, it’s all coming back.

(Why aren’t you coming back?) 

 

Regretful moments locked in these pages,

Your name, always drowning in a pool of bittersweet tears.

(I feel like I’m drowning, too)

The calluses between my fingers are so familiar to you,

(I’m used to the pain called you)

Like the grains of sand in the ocean being kissed away by the waves-

The separation no longer hurts, for it knows you’re going to visit again.

 

Pages and chapters written to erase your marks in my skull,

Silently pleading the universe to take you away,

Like the way the thunder surrenders itself to the summer breeze.

The hands which once held yours now only writes sad memories of you,

Like a baby uttering its first words,

My calluses repeatedly aches while madly writing for you…

(It knows nothing now but you.)

Dead End

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I am standing on uneven ground,

Wishing for my hands to stop,

Shaking, trembling,

Like whimsical villages trapped in snow globes.

 

I am standing on uneven ground,

Telling my mind to stop,

Whirling, spinning

Like little pebbles when hit by ferocious waves.

 

I am standing on uneven ground,

Hoping for my feet to stop,

Falling, tripping,

Like hazy meteors descending in the black sky.

 

I am standing on uneven ground,

Willing my tears to stop,

Spilling, trickling,

Like broken water pipes weathered by time.

 

I am standing on uneven ground,

Wishing for the world to stop,

Running, waking,

Like life flowing out of your veins.

Things I can never say out loud

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Disappointment is a girl with eyeglasses who stays up late at night counting the stars.

Disappointment is a girl with hands always itching to write.

Disappointment is a girl who breathes fiction in a realistic world.

Disappointment is a girl who lives in a house where her dreams are ridiculed,

Where the father who’s supposed to be a protective wall is nothing but a quicksand.

Disappointment is a girl with a curse…

The curse of being different.

BTS: Before the Shot Stories – A Day In Manila

My unrelenting heart has flown,

Like the vast blue sky above-alone and unreachable.

Like a bullet racing towards its target,

My heart no longer aches to wait.

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Flowers hanging in the trellis,

I was stunned by your thorns.

Blood dropping from my fingers,

I realized you’re fragile but strong.

Flowers hanging in the trellis,

I could not help but to think of his long gone kisses.

Tiny petals floating in the air,

I wish my memories of him could be blown out and away.

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Dear Mr. Lamppost, I am calling out to you.

Can you hear the birds chirping from up above the sky?

Can you tell how scared I am?

Dear Mr. Lamppost, I am calling out to you.

Can you see the sun falling beyond the sea?

Can you feel my warmth quickly faltering?

Dear Mr. Lamppost, I am calling out to you.

My friend says you share your light with anyone,

Can you also cast your light upon my weary soul?

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Seasons of You and Me

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Taken at Rizal Park, Metro Manila, Philippines (12/04/15)

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Taken at Rizal Park, Metro Manila, Philippines (12/04/15)

Wind’s biting,

Winter is coming,

Are you still writing to me?

 

Flowers blooming,

Spring is approaching,

Are you still waiting for me?

 

Sunlight’s burning,

Summer is deafening,

Are you still searching for me?

 

Trees undressing,

Autumn is waking,

Are you still wishing for me?

 

Meteors falling,

The season’s changing,

Why are you still thinking of me?