Millenial Macoy

Vehicles of all sorts cannot move
anymore. Stoplights have failed —
only yellow lights blink fighting for
the mission. Drivers keep stepping
on the brakes, letting go once in a while
to achieve some movement.

In the middle of this busy street, a lad
sits behind the wheel of his shiny BMW.
He adjusts his rear-view mirror and checks
his reflection.

As if remembering something,
he reaches out
to the glove compartment and smothers
his palm with hand sanitizer.
He turns up
the volume of his radio.

Magnanakaw! Hindi bayani! Busina!
Isang busina lang! Para sa hustisya!

On his right side, protesters scream for justice,
their cries blending with the music he hears.
Bobbing his head, he sits there
in his air-conditioned car, while they
bear the heat, and breathe in fumes.



High Chair 23: Alab ng Puso

My poem, Sa Karimlan, is part of High Chair’s 23rd issue. The this was inspired by a mixture of political events in the Philippines: the Marcos burial, extrajudicial killings, to name a few.


Click this link to read Sa Karimlan.


And so the night comes
to an end: you pull over
in front of my house, and I
get out of your car.

Ding dong.

Ding dong.

Ding dong.

I’ve been locked out,
again. I check my watch:
it’s a little past two a.m.
Post lamps struggle to
illuminate the streets.
Their best, only
a flicker.

“Leave me now,” I tell you,
for the night is dragging,
and dark. I wait for the engine
to roar, but instead there is
a hush.

Ding dong.

Ding dong.

Ding dong.

Still, there is no answer.
“You don’t have to wait
here alone,” you tell me.

I nod, and
a door opens.

Note: I started writing this vignette sometime around April or May of this year, but only finalized it today. Sometimes, it takes a while for me to find the right words and piece them together. If this poem resonates with you, then this is for you, dear reader.

Before I Die

Let us make peace
with the night:

Admit that without you
I find no purpose, and
without me you’ll be
hiding in the dark

Light me up, so I know
what it’s like to glow,
to burn for someone

Do you feel that?

The warmth refusing to be
defeated by the dark

The heat melting away
the shadows on your skin

I’ll bring you light until
you fall asleep, and tomorrow
when I am gone,

you will wake up,
not remembering
the dread of night

Note: Once in a while, I write poems from the point of view of an inanimate object. This piece is one of them. Can you guess who’s the narrator here?