breathe

tonight is one of those nights when
i am further comforted
by the idea of having another tomorrow
despite uncertain and finite
and when i can look forward every time
i think of soon that at some other point
in time i am breathing truly

breathing tonight is one of those nights
i desperately wish for time to suspend
all its ticking second so that
in this interlude i can linger a little bit longer and
welcome the next daylight’s first second
at ease and breathe
truly breathe

— c // 210817

sometimes i wish my lungs would be filled with so much oxygen so all i had to do is to breathe out and not take in air anymore. i just let it all out when it gets too heavy. but that is not science.

— c // 2020 draft

perhaps this carnation was so loved by the universe

perhaps
this carnation was so loved by the universe,
that the sun and moon hailed it as their child, that
the stars had always been delicately cradling its stem,
in its purest, ever-feeble state—that
it only danced with the swaying winds.
would you believe it was unwavering?

the greenest sepal that ever budded
had been graced, maybe (surely). countless times,

the mystery
and complexity of the universe
was significantly more colossal. and countless times
had i written about it. but in this field,

i liked to look at this carnation
as though it was the striking sun, as though
it was the only light bejewelling the dusk,
as though the stars
had not been here watching it live and die.

would it be treachery to the universe to wish
for this flower to be bigger than it was, to be richer
than its white, to stand by itself
on a steadfast ground?

//

my mother never failed to remind me that
life is one’s dearest, greatest gift. but i have not truly contemplated
what to make out of it, no matter how straightforward
it has always been. is it simplistic? am i?
i have not concluded tomorrows
for they are vague, for my attention
is on today.

indeed merely the living are to appreciate. so at funerals,
i wish for carnations to always give life
to whoever needs it.

— c // 210814

july pt. 2

oh to the curious days of july… a revolution done and the leaves have withered and grains chipped away from tree barks. the flowers have been picked and papers burned. the passage of time has continuously birthed sorrow and joy.

i am unequivocally new.

and my bareness demands to be introduced like wildfires and cyclones, appalling and grim and violent. but i will tell my tales tacitly and gently, like some faraway flood and earthquake that are just fleeting background noises from the morning news. in the end, i am bound to celebrate myself and my circle, in the quiet disturbance of our existence. we toss to that cheap plum wine of july, for we are not meant to recognize the destruction and extinction slowly engulfing our familiar surroundings.

— c // 210724

cheap plum wine of july

on the little moments’ uniqueness

when this morning is just another date on the calendar, i want to be reminded that days are not merely repetitive. my patterns and habits, my tendency to stick to familiarity, and all these monochromes on my palette, they all have been quite comforting, to say the least. but when i am tired, i long to breathe in the scent of the shore and witness the greens of the mountains. i like for the sky to show me more stars than usual so i can be more wistful and poetic and then write about it after. when the vastness is just blue and black, maybe the afternoons and sunsets are made for the inevitable transitions. the shade of purple and orange and how stunningly the moon is taking in the hint of the sun in vibrant fashion, they surprisingly retell the fireworks i have seen.

maybe i am trying to look for the unconventional, the kind of hands that narrate a whole tale of madness and eyes that show a glimpse of the universe inside. but i never asked for the grander version of things. i like the little sparkles in people’s eyes when they see their favorite food served in front of them, or their fingertips delicately flipping the pages of their favorite book. and i find it beautiful how uniqueness is found in minute details, like in the quiet rides to the parks and beaches, the seemingly irrelevant choices in meals, the playful laughter at a joke, and the enthusiasm in their voices when they talk about the movies and music they like. you see, it might be like witnessing someone in awe when they find an artwork they resonate with.

and maybe it is in everyone’s ways that there are some kind of uniqueness and excitement, in their day-to-day lives and little moments, probably like mine.

— c // 200716

go on. drink until you do not know the difference between the numbers, until you count from one to ten only to find yourself lying on the bathroom floor by the time you reach eleven. feed your pain. bawl in your bed at three in the morning, while all the lights are off and the only things you can see are your misfortunes. listen to the songs that make you cry and play them to sprinkle even more glitters to your inconveniences and tragedies. and then exploit your pain until you feel good about yourself.

all the world’s indeed a stage. look around this big theater box and draw your lines like needles prickling your chest, like butterflies somersaulting in your guts. be as chaotic and melodic as a whole ensemble playing without an orchestrator, mastering their own life’s symphony. be the main character in a crowded street with all neon-colored lights flashing in your path. this uneven, unfinished pavement is your red carpet.

— c // 200714, 4am babble when i can’t sleep

untitled

i let the dust settle on my palm, just like the delicate wish feathers i used to catch. i would not even want my hands dirty now. as a child, i would sit underneath the ironing board where i could see my father pass by, coming home after a long, exhausting day at work, carrying his decade-year-old black sling bag. my mother would reach out her hand to me to ask me to stand up and transfer to the couch. it was where as a kid, i used to play and build a little home inside of our house.

//

i sit comfortably in my chair and in front of these reminders that i am older. i still see my father pass by but without a care, without his bag anymore and not from his work. my mother sometimes reaches out her hand to me for a tap on the shoulder and a good reminder that i could have done things better, like work faster, or sit up straighter, and sometimes to tell me to take it easy on myself.

— c // 200705, taking some things off my drafts

add up

there is a tiny, little fraction of me that calls a lazy thursday afternoon a bliss—to my mind that never rests, even in my sleep; to my mind that, even in my sleep, reminds me of what there will be when i wake up.

if i call a slow weekend morning a bliss with guilt, it might be the same fraction of me that never stops, even after a long day of deadlines and phone calls.

i like to think they all add up to my wholeness—a constellated, arranged, organized pieces that make me up. even in my restless sleep, i am whole and eager to wake up again.

— c // 200704, taking some things off my drafts

alive!

so, you had your bones broken—neck, rib,
leg—and blood covering the entire curb on a sidewalk
you were too familiar with.

you remembered, right?
of course you did; even your ill memory

would not forget the blaring sound of shots
and madness from the dark, the pain so excruciating
that it did not make you cry. you went silent
with your thoughts scattered all over your brain, your
wounded torso begging to bleed even more.

you knew, right?

you had to scream but no sound ever came
out of your agape, clamorous mouth. you thought
you were screaming, though. you thought
you were heard. you thought
that the last light blinding your already hazy vision
was already help. now tell me,

how did it feel to have your eyes wide awake
but could not see anything? how did it feel
to have your hands twitch without the jolt
in your consciousness, just like when you
were falling asleep the night before?

but never mind, you are alive,

and you demand every vein, sense, and cell
in your body to go back to how they are before. you
want to forget. and you know, that this room had bodies
like yours before, supine and unknowing.

but never mind, you are alive!

and everyone demands your silence and
forgetfulness. and you shall leave unscathed.

//

you talked about flowers and how beautiful they were
today. you wanted that vibrant red of roses, the strong red
that only reminded you of roses—and love and your fiery eyes.

how about those water lilies afloat
on the pond you used to walk by every day, did you like seeing
how light and peaceful they were too? but flowers

withered over time, and you always thought
of how lifeless and frail they got. you did not like that. so,
every time you got new ones, you kept them stashed
in between your least favorite book because you
only wanted flowers to remind you
of the colorful and beautiful. and they

made you feel alive.

—c // 200602

the poetry of tossing a coin

one moment my poetry could be as dramatic as me writing that i had loved you for an eternity when i only had touched your skin for a night and never again. one moment my poetry could be as mundane as writing about a recurring nightmare i was having, or what i ate for breakfast. sometimes, my poetry could be as both dramatic and mundane as saying the only similarity i had with my father was our favorite food when i had that for breakfast. sometimes my metaphors are profound, most of the times dumb and unnatural.

i am no romanticist but by the virtue of my fascination, and love probably, with poetry, when i sit down and start writing, it sounds like i am. but i am so grounded in reality that the only time i can ever immensely dream is when i write. and i like to believe i can truly write, but sometimes, i feel like i can not. today, i toss a coin, and it lands on my bet “i can,” therefore i am typing this.

—c // 200524