with Paolo Tiausas and Kat Rodriguez
Take this line and throw it into the void we call remembering
how have you been? Becoming strangers with each meeting
I see the same lines on your face, the curve of swollen lips
but rewritten enough to forget if that kiss was my penmanship
spelling doubt. Chaste and reverent like hands that knew only
to touch the unremarkable lines of my jaw, cupping it lonely
only because that’s all it can offer without permission.
Last night, you hung up the line after an admission I never
meant to give. What comes next is the tracing of the highs
and lows of where you last spoke: this shoulder, this thigh,
this wrist, this throat. You lied next to the night lamp we got
the day you moved in. Take it when you leave and the rest
I will leave in the same darkness you’ve found me: a nest
of keys and pairless earrings, a soft carpet, lines we sever
even those we don’t remember. Love me. I guess this house
is only meant for one. Otherwise, there’s always a fire to douse.
Look yourself in the eye and ask when was the last time you
were honest. How many times have you denied April
as the cruelest? This is not a joke. Why can’t you take things
seriously whenever I say yes. You always gaze dearly
elsewhere: on the same floor we walk on, the same sky. Why
when I’ve always just been right in front of you. Don’t look
away from your sins. How honest are your arms nestled
against each other against me despite circumstance.
You are only honest when you sleep and the lines of your
mouth curve into a whisper of my name.
Swear with your hand
on the book. Multiple stab wounds. There is nothing but
contempt. I’m not another pillow you take into your arms
and throw away at the slightest tear, but the one you shove
Into a face until there is no breath. Be honest. How could you
take what we have and reduce it to a single line you wouldn’t
even admit to without batting an eyelash. Pursing your lips.
Here you are lying next to me without even saying a word.
What have we done? Pull me against your trembling chest
and let our hearts sync their beat. No pretensions. We admit
our innocence went missing the moment you looked
at me in the eye. You were at your most honest. But I tried
to look away. And so here we are. Looking at the ceiling
Half-awake, confessing all these crimes. We commit.
This is the last time I’m telling you I love you. What for,
if another attempt will be drowned by the crashing noise
of the sea between us. Believe me when I say I’m doing this
for you. Otherwise, you can turn the other cheek like always.
Harbor anger while you are away. Or worse, forget me
like thousands of unattended sandcastles only to be ruined
by wayward children. That’s what happens when words get
drowned by erratic waves. So just swallow your line
and wait for someone to fish you out. Some compliment,
some admiration, another I love you. Someone else but me.
There’s no baiting me to be your lifeline. This is the last
time I am telling you lines hoping that you’ll stay instead.
Manila / Nara
April 27, 2017
[header from Fall Out Boy – M A N I A]