A Rebirth Story

“I want to be reborn,” she said decisively.

So she plucked the moon and marinated it in poison;

she ground oleander and water hemlock,

and drank the decoction from her porcelain tea cup.

She gathered the stars—near and far, and far and near—

into her bosom, burning her skin

until she was stripped to the bone.

Then she swallowed the sun

and let it burn her further,

until all her wishes, her desires, her hatred,

and her attachments that had been deeply engraved in her bones

became nothing but whispers and ash,

carried by the wind

and scattered into nothingness…

“I want to be born again…”

Then she woke, and became a butterfly.

Luna x Sol

She was the moon, mysterious and ethereal;

He was the sun, bright and magnificent.

The day she was born

Was the day he died;

His arrival,

Was the day of her departure.

They were each other’s destiny,

Yet they were never destined to meet;

They were each other’s fated pair.

And both unaware, followed different orbits.

Though fated, they chased and ran,

And followed others

Without pausing to realize the restlessness in their hearts.

They were always a distance away, sometimes a breath,

But their paths would never cross

-Maybe not in this lifetime,

But perhaps in the next…

Hopefully, in the next.

A Darkness

Sometimes, the ghosts you’ve hidden come to haunt you.

Despite your continuous practice of meditation and tuning them out,

they catch up eventually

—evolved.

They latch on to you with a death grip, refusing to let go.

And even when you bury them deep,

they’ve already learned to howl,

and their screams echo

—reverberating,

bouncing off walls like a ricocheting bullet.

Their shrieks grow louder

—clamoring,

as they crawl, and writhe

like a group of crazies struggling to free themselves

from the straitjacket that confine their limbs.

Your ghosts have grown forceful,

as they bang their heads against the door

that prevents you from losing your grip on your rationality.

You hear them scraping their nails,

leaving bloody trails along the walls

—chipped nails scatter on the filthy floor.

And along with the thudding on the door,

you hear them twisting the knob one way and then the other

—clicking, clickety-clack…

The sounds combine into an almost catchy rhythm

with an unforgettable beat.

And you find yourself grooving along.

There is no fear…only a realization

—You’ve fallen too far for saving.

The Transience of Clouds

Clouds often dot the blue expanse that is the sky

on bright summer days,

during gloomy typhoon seasons,

during the dreamy spring season, on bleak winters,

and cozy autumn days…

Sometimes, they drift gracefully,

like wisps lightly passing by, dissipating

without much resistance

—like a wanderer walking through a quiet town

without any plans of staying much longer than

necessary…

Sometimes they look like lumps of the softest cotton,

the fluffiest pillows, and the puffiest marshmallow

as if you’d have the sweetest dream

if you nestle between their folds

and blanket yourself with some of their fluff…

but they too eventually dissipate after a while,

—like tourists that come to visit a scenic town

staying for 3 days and 2 nights, visiting tourist spots,

and taking photos for memories…

Sometimes they tower above, billowing

into the highest reaches of the troposphere;

they remind me of mothers that sacrifice much more

than what their husbands or their children can see…

they carry the heaviest of burdens—on their shoulders,

on their backs, and on their hips, until the soles of their feet

and their ankles become sore…

they carry rain, like the tears they shed behind closed doors

or never shed at all…

they bring with them thunder and lightning as if to say

“Listen to me…look at me…I am here…I was here…”

just like our mothers or our fathers

as they shout and holler when they’ve lost all patience

and get angry…

But they too eventually dissipate

—but far longer than the stranger or the tourist…they stay

just a bit longer, like your family and your truest friends

that come to visit and sweep through your house…

sometimes, even overstaying their welcome.

The transience of clouds remind me

that regardless of whether we were once like

the intimidating cumulonimbus,

or the ominous supercells,

or the carefree cirrus,

or the ethereal stratus clouds

and the undulatus asperatus clouds that bring a sense of mystery,

we are but a speck in the universe…

our lives are but a drop in the ocean of time

—we are but an impermanent existence…

The Faithful Lover

The faithful lover remains steadfast in their love;

Constant, in their trust;

Fearless, and generous in giving,

without regard for gains and losses

—until they themselves are spent….


They accept what they are given

and never ask for more;

Sometimes, the faithful lovers

forget themselves as they continue to forgive

their lover’s sins of commission,

yet not forgetting; not because they are keeping score,

but to remind themselves

in the moments when they are alone

—perhaps during their countless monologues in the shower;

perhaps on nights that are too quiet

with only the chirping sounds of crickets left for company—

that love is real,

and that every sacrifice will be worth it in the end

—until they are numb, and no longer recognize themselves….


Oftentimes, the faithful lover deliberately

ignores their delicate boundaries,

breaching the fine line between compromise and blind submission….


However, when faced with the universe’s disenchantment,

even the weak can muster up the courage

to walk away;

shedding off their mottled skin that has lost its glow

—eroded by their endless abandonment of their old self

to accommodate and adjust to their lover’s demands,

continuously forgiving…


Yet some who manage to walk away

forget to also forgive themselves;

they carry the blame on their shoulders,

asking what they lacked,

how or why or where they failed,

why they weren’t enough….


Some faithful lovers eventually find their peace, with time

—they are fortunate enough to heal, and find lasting happiness

amid the chaos and their struggles;

But sadly, some aren’t as lucky, and the blow pushes them

deeper into the mire

—losing themselves and never finding the strength

to look inside themselves and examine their scars,

instead they let it fester, and bleed…

and they bleed on others…

settling for dysfunctional affection and dependence….


Love begets love, and the faithful lover deserves a faithful lover too.


Regrets

They linger like ghosts

in dark corners,

behind the potted birds of paradise

decorating the corner of your study;

and even when the living room

is brightly lit by the sunlight

coming in through the picture window,

they sit silently on that worn lawson sofa –

gaunt, with blank eyes

that stare at the black and white abstract

you hung above the fireplace.

They keep you company in your empty kitchen

as you eat alone on your four-person dining table.

You see them standing in the corner

by the towel rack

when you look at yourself in the mirror after your bath.

And they blend in with the cold in your bedroom,

as you close your eyes tight

and bury yourself deeper

under the covers, hoping

they don’t visit you in your dreams.

Despair

It begins with an itching

that one cannot relieve by scratching

the outer layer of the skin;

it crawls, and spreads silently

from the mind to the smallest crevice of the heart

and hitches a ride with your blood cells

along with oxygen,

incorporating itself into the metabolic process.

Sometimes, it becomes a permanent resident

and gnaws at the last threads of hope

stitching you together.