Sayaw

I.
Ang ibig kong sabihin
Limang oras ko nang
Sinusubukang magkabisa
Ng mga linya
At kung paano sisimulan

Pero nakakaloko yang mga ngiti mo
Ayan tuloy
Naninigas ako sa pagkakatayo
Pero nanlalambot yung tuhod ko

At kasabay ng paglapit ko sa ‘yo
Yung unti-unting pag-urong naman
Ng dila ko

Putangina! Sabi nila madali lang ‘to!
Pero paano ko ipagkakasya
Sa iilang salita, at ipaliliwanag
Yung lalim ng pagkahulog ko sa ‘yo?

II.
Alam mo?
Siguro hindi pa ngayong gabi
Yung tamang pagkakataon
Na hayaan ko ang sariling
Magkamali

Marami pa naman akong oras
Para mag-isip
…nang mag-isip,
Nang mag-isip
Nang mag-isip!
Ng mga paraan
Kung paano mo ako sasaktan
Hanggang maisipan
Mo akong iwanan

III.
Pero sa kabilang banda
Wala naman akong mapapala
Kung parati na lang akong
Pangungunahan ng kaba, ‘di ba?
At kung nasanay man akong
Isilid sa baul ang puso
At ikandado ito
Kasama ng mga pangarap ko
Para ko na ring
Minadali ang pagkatalo

Kaya ngayon, andito ako
Nakikipagkarera sa mga
Alinlangan ko
Umaasang mauunahan sila
At mananalo
Kahit ngayong gabi lang

At sana masabi ko

Nga pala, gusto kita.

Labas naman tayo.

Netflix and Chill

I never want to have sex. This means that I never want anyone’s dick anywhere near me. This means that I will never be fascinated with your dick, so send that photo to someone else. This means that all attempts at flirting and getting me in the mood will be pointless. This means that “Netflix and chill” to me actually means “Netflix and chill…ing at the sofa binge watching The IT Crowd.” 

This means that pickup lines will be met with a resounding, “WHAAAAT?” This means that, “fuck me” will always be just an expression. This means that asking me to talk dirty to you means telling you the story of that one time at a bar, I drank a blue cocktail and the next day my pee was the same color. This means that if you really want me to talk dirty to you, I will tell you that one of my favorite bands is Garbage. I mean, how dirty is that, right??? 

Garbage???

I never want to have sex and I never talk about the boys I like in sexual terms. This means that I don’t care if Leslie Odom Jr. is topless or wearing a bespoke suit—he will always be beautiful to me. This means that yes I like this one boy very much but no, I don’t want to fuck him just to prove it. This means that I really just enjoy talking to him and listening to him talk about his music. This means that sexual innuendos will never come from me.

But this doesn’t mean that I don’t laugh at green jokes. This doesn’t mean I am less interested in making connections. This doesn’t mean I find beauty less appealing. This doesn’t mean I think sex is dirty. This doesn’t make me a prude, a tease, or a bore. This doesn’t make me a fucking challenge.

I don’t want to have sex. But this doesn’t mean that you can look down on my lack of experience or that I will let you “teach” me. This doesn’t mean that maybe I just need alcohol to loosen up. This doesn’t make me ignorant or incomplete or a freak.

I don’t want sex. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t want love. The holding hands, the butterfly kisses, and late-night drives. This doesn’t mean that I don’t fall in love sometimes with the slightest hint of someone’s kindness. This doesn’t make me a sexually repressed, un-feeling robot.

It just means that I never want to have sex. This doesn’t mean I don’t have anything else to offer.

Transition Girl

I’m the transition girl. The scary little footbridge you’re afraid to cross but do anyway to get to wherever it is you’re going.

We’ll meet under unusual circumstances. It can be at an art fair, or a pottery class, or a dingy bar you went to after a breakup. We’ll smile, exchange witty banter, and you’ll go home thinking you MUST know me more.

I’ll be interesting and funny and cute. I’ll introduce you to a new band each week. We’ll share a soda at some park listening to the new album of City and Colour.

And then you’ll think to yourself how the hell I ever got to be me. And why was I still single?

I’m the transition girl. The one you read in books, who leaves both protagonist and readers a trail of question marks, compelling you all to read another chapter.

You will mistake me for a dream girl, leaving “manic pixie” behind, ignoring the hair color and the disappearing acts, thinking everything I say determines the plot, treating my sadness as some sort of foreshadowing.

I will teach you how to be extraordinary. To try new things. To develop a taste for the wonderful and the crazy. Because sometimes they’re both as sweet as candy.

I’m the transition girl. I have mystery written all over me, and you’re welcome to try and pick me apart to indulge yourself in whatever stage of confusion you’re in.

You’re welcome to turn my words into your gospel while you figure yourself out, decide what it is you really want. Treat every moment we have as an adventure, while some indie folk song plays in the background.

But to tell you honestly, I’m so sick of all of it. People leaving the moment clarity hits them. While I fade along with the song.

People thinking I’m broken but held together by glitter glue so at least I sparkle in parts that hurt me the most.

I’m sick of remaining in people’s what-if lists, thinking I become stronger anyway every time I’m abandoned. That at least I’ll get a good poem out of it.

I never do things for the story.

But the story always happens to me: the meet-cute, me thinking oh my god he noticed me. And he doesn’t mind that I sometimes get crazy. And he remembers this band I said I liked that nobody else knows. And he doesn’t think it’s weird that I change my hair color every two weeks because I desperately want to crawl out of my skin but this is the least I could do for now to become someone else.

I never do all of this for the story. I never wanted to be written off as a plot point, someone the main character meets to make him realize his worth—and in the end I am never worth it.

Because I’m the transition girl. The manic pixie dream girl. Only a few memorable chapters long but never the happy ending.

And all the time, when it’s over, you’ll remember me only when that indie folk song plays on the radio, which won’t be always. You will look back at the time we had with great nostalgia but not an ounce of regret. I was someone you had to know. A phase before you got your life together.

And while it’s flattering that I helped you get where you were going, I still think you should know. I never thought that you were only visiting.

Malapit Ka Nang Maging Tula

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Malapit ka nang maging tula
Depende sa ‘yo kung ituturing mo itong pangako o babala
Sinasabi ko lang na parating na tayo sa simula

Sinasaulo ko na ang bawat pagkalikot mo sa iyong relo
Pinapanalangin na hindi mo binibilang ang bawat minuto
At inaabangan kung oras na ba para tumayo ka’t lumayo

Nakikita na kita nang malinaw sa panaginip ko
Tuwing lumilingon ka, nginingitian mo na ako
Paggising ko tuloy, nakangiti na rin agad ako

Sa tuwing magkausap tayo, naririnig ko ang boses mo
Kahit puro letra lang ang nababasa ko
Kahit na nasa magkaibang siyudad tayo

Naiipon ko na nang hindi sadya ang mga alaala
Yung mga iilang segundong napapatingin ka
Yung tumatagos sa mga taong nasa pagitan nating dalawa

Pero hindi ko pa rin yata kayang aminin na para ‘to sa ‘yo
Na nakakalungkot dahil puro magagandang bagay ang dulot mo
At palagi na lang tayong maraming paligoy-ligoy sa mundo

Kaya ito na lang muna ang iiwan ko habang di ko pa kaya
Ayokong mangako, pero mas lalong hindi ito babala
Pero malapit ka nang maging tula

Wonder

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So you go to parties and gigs with your friends. You welcome the crowded spaces you pretend don’t remind you of the walls in your world that are closing in.

You look at your friends warmly by way of saying that they are more than enough. They will always be more than enough—but you won’t ever be, at least not to yourself, and that is the danger in the first place.

You struggle to tell a friend you want to disappear again and it feels as uncomfortable as small talk with strangers. Every word you hold back is a pebble that you try to swallow.

And you wonder how that started.

And slowly, you edge away from the crowd, from the conversation, from the ones you love.

You drink the cheap beer handed to you, or the overpriced cocktail you bought to indulge yourself. It doesn’t really make a difference, as long as you feel numb for the next few hours. Slouched in the dark corners of the bar. Making yourself smaller, a fake smile plastered on your face, pretending all of it makes you happy.

You hum along with the band. They sing your truths, and sometimes that’s all it takes not to fall apart. How your insides stay intact, even with the cracks on your skin glowing in the harsh red lights.

And you wonder how you could still feel hollowed out.

The close proximity of strangers to you makes you think you are not alone, but you always go home by yourself anyway. At 3am. And the bus ride home always reminds you of the speed with which your life is spiraling down.

And you wonder what all that rushing is even about.

And in the morning, you feel empty.  You don’t remember any of the conversations you had last night, because none of them mattered. None of them scratched the surface and all you ever said were variations of,

“Yeah, totally.”
“Good to see you, too!”
“I’ll talk to you later. I’m just gonna say hi to someone.”

You keep staring at the ceiling past midday, recalling what you’d done wrong. Maybe you didn’t sing loud enough. Or you laughed too hard at that one joke the tears that came out were not of joy.

And you wonder why you went in the first place. And you keep on wondering.

But you do it all again next weekend. The dance, the six bottles of light beer, the pretense. Because it might not feel enough, but sometimes–the lights, the music, and an endless Saturday night–it’s exactly the pull that you need. The one pill short of an overdose. The one cut away from bleeding to death. The mouthful of water that didn’t drown your lungs.

Saturday is that one step backward from the speeding truck on the highway.