is it a sin to chase the fleeting?
or is it only a dream when you’re allowed to make it come true?

dripping red, glistening through the darkness;
heart held out, as far from your chest as it would go;
still beating, a song, inaudible as that of a thousand lifetimes;
maybe for just a glimpse, maybe for just a moment–
maybe for just a touch of the light before it flees,
once more.

.

how many galaxies have you crossed to reach this point?

to get close enough to hear the whispers
turn into echoes of the awed?

to look down at your fingertips,
reflections of what could be and what might?

wind pushed you back, but you held your ground;
made a pen out of doubt, carved your name where you stood;
never saying a word, yet you held the mic tighter;
your hands, trembling, but your eyes knew what was yours.

silently, you ran.
yet all they heard was the silence.

.

how many galaxies have you crossed to reach this point?

you watch as she slips away.

left with a voice,
and no words left to say.

only the mirage of a light once in front of you.

made to cross out your own name,
in front of the you who has almost made it through.

just a few more steps to making it
through.

only the mirage of a light,
once within your reach.

.

and yet,

past lives one too many–
as elusive as she is, you chased her through all.

what more is another, the next after that?

what more is another fight, when you’ve come so far?

perhaps we’ve failed you this time.
perhaps we let you chase the light alone.

but maybe in the next, if you’ll have it,
maybe you won’t have to carry your heart alone?

.

my child,

lift your head;
there is no room for shame.

we will find our way again.

the day of the comet is not today.

– “Zen Zen Zense” — for MNL48’s Zen Inot.

LL.

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For all the times I’ve screamed to cotton, to linen,
to polyester, winceyette,
to the imprint of ridges left on my cheek–

For all the times I’ve screamed to the bridge of a monologue,
to the soundtrack of a story too strained to be so bright,
to the beat of a character’s plea for love craved and love denied–

For all the times I’ve screamed in the dead of night,
in the throes of broad daylight,
under the weight of dreams suspended above the line of sight–

For all the times I’ve screamed to no one but the company of my own constricted windpipe–

For all the times I’ve screamed,
as silent as the comet
passing by Earth at noontime–

I wonder how many were heard by the saviors
not once I believed in;

I wonder how many of them spared a sigh.

– “Superhero”

LL.

An image stares at me.

It’s glistening, the water.
An interlude of peace that lasts an eternity.

I’ve lived in the calm.
The calm is what I am.
The calm is what I have become.
Through turmoil, through euphoria,
the calm is what stays.

And the water is undisturbed.
Eternally.

A single chair;
in the world,
in the universe,
in the back of a classroom,
the sound of chalk
on a chalkboard–
calm in the air
for as long as I’ve known.

A face looking to face forward.
A face looking for a forward to face.

Running on water;
splashing– none a ripple;
is all that’s below a simple mirror;
or is it that not once have I moved at all?

An image stares at me.

Weaved in the same calm I’ve ever known.

I stare back;
for it’s all I have come to know.

– “The Calm and All That Lies Within”

LL.

Thirteen knots, thirteen fingers;
under skies of rose, overlooking seas of serenity;
behind the letters, behind the lights;
a promise to keep, a promise to stay.

Hands get cold, but not when they’re not alone;
people leave, but their words will never fade away;
“Thanks for finding us the way we wanted to be found,
thanks for choosing to stay.”

– “Seventeen” — for Aila.

LL.