the heart breaks every so often at the sound of closing doors

The heart breaks every so often
at the sound of closing doors.
The unstaying
(or even the uncoming)
drives its point
that maybe
it isn’t an option to settle.
One wonders
why yet again
in essence,
is not enough
to bar life’s egress?
It’s a classic tale of hurting,
where there are no heroes
or heroines,
only adversaries,
these hearts despairing,
accustomed to vacationing affections
that leave after the season’s end.
for c.d.


perhaps, really, there is no quantifying us.

this world has taught me to count,
to encase in numbers that which i need to understand.
1-2-3-4-5 steps.
5-10-15-20 minutes.
days, weeks, months, years.
weights, heights, masses, volumes.
speed, velocity, acceleration, gravity.
circumference, radius, pi.

i was taught the power of limiting
the world in figures,
to scribble portions of myself in digits.
height, weight, mass.
aptitude, grades, IQ,

with my pain a matter ranging from 1 to 10,
with moments of my infiniteness marked in calendars.

today, i cross out a date yet again
with the hopes to value or devalue
what has become of us.

how much time has passed
since your avowals of timid affection?

how long have i dwindled in this uncertainty?

how much fonder have i grown of your crude edges,
your depth, your hand, your presence?

you have since then taken up much space and time,
and i am only all the more restricted
as i attempt to measure out you and i.

perhaps, as in the universe conspiring
to make itself infinite, boundless, unrestrained,
refusing to subsist in small portions,
we too will find ourselves massive, perpetually expanding,
never bottled up in moments,
nor encapsulated by words.
perhaps, really, there is no quantifying us.
there is no qualifying the finiteness
of what little of each other we have.

for j.e.

you exist apart from my memories

i panicked when you were nowhere in sight
not before me, nor behind me.
i searched for you in my room,
but you were not in my boxes,
nor in my keepsakes.
i opened well-loved pages of poetry,
and all i found were decomposing petals
of long-lost reminiscence.
i searched and rummaged,
and all i found of you were
bits and traces of a presence
not yet even pieced together.

who you are for me
cannot be contained
by a box, a page of verses,
a tumbler, or a photograph,
but those were all i have of you.

how can someone of such gravity
be for me so limited in presence?

for a moment,
i had to fight the urge to believe
i only made you up.
the voice that lulled me to sleep
one starry night –
could it possibly be a dream?
were those big hands
that never failed to grasp mine
mere imagination?
those eyes, that smile,
are they but a compound
of so many other eyes and smiles?

oh how easily i forget,
you exist apart from my memories!
your voice, your hands
are not dependent on my ability to feel nor hear.
my verses cannot summon you,
nor can their absence limit who you are.
i do not need to remember you
for you to be there.
neither should my heart beat
for you to be loved.

you are your own,
capable of storing your own keepsakes
and pressed petals.
should you choose to,
those big hands can take hold
of any other hand.
you can choose to gift anyone
with the beauty of your smile
or of your song.
and i need not be the object
of your affection
for your own heart to beat wildly
against your chest.

you are
even if we’re not.
i am
apart from you.
you will always be you
even if i was not in the equation,
and I will always be me
even if you are not the object
of my metaphors.

for j.e.

elusive, elusive, elusive


i like the way elusive
rolls around the mouth,
smooth against the tongue.
one can say it over and over again
and it only intensifies the desire.

it has that distinct taste
of a childhood mint
until now one cannot find
in any other.
how come the same candy
can taste so different
then and now?

it is near, almost in sight
like the distant horizon
beyond the waves,
that visible, imaginary space
where no one has ever been.

it is a hollow echo
in a domed arena.
from all sides.
the sweet notes
vibrating from nowhere in particular.

it smells of petrichor,
that unmistakable union
of earth and rain
that makes one unsure
of either wanting the heat
of the noonday sun
or the damp coolness after a downpour.

it mimics the painting
one have always felt
like one can recreate,
only falling disappointed
after mixing colors
and failing to harmonize
the right tints and hues.

i like the way elusive
rolls around the mouth,
smooth against the tongue.
i say it over and over again –
elusive, elusive, elusive –
and it only intensifies the desire.

elusive reminds me of you
and all the days we’ve said:
coffee, coffee, coffee.

the java i can have any time,
in any way i want,
but the sapor of being with you
i cannot recreate.

are you in some horizon,
where your voice is a hollow echo?
“soon, soon, soon,”
you’d always say.

i’m never quite sure
if i am frustrated or excited
by the idea of your presence,
where i cannot harmonize
the many disappointments
i’ve had at receiving
“can’t, can’t, can’t”.

you are for me
that rolling and smooth lexeme
that i say over and over again
with your name.
you are elusive, elusive, elusive,
and that only intensifies the desire
of seeing you.

for jb

my thoughts are always best expressed in verses





my thoughts are always best expressed in verses,
and you are the lines
that make them up.

your name is never scribbled across the page,
but you are there in the kerning,
the sensible spaces in between.

you are the punctuation marks,
the pauses and the stops,
the stresses in my ideas.

don’t you ever get frustrated
that i have exploited your memories
into fragments of ellipsied affection?

i am guilty of making you my poetry,
of enveloping you in metaphors
and keeping you close to my heart.

out of the trickles of us,
i have spawned an infinite stream
of feels pooling into poems.

i have always wondered
if you have ever read me
and guessed that i was about you.

tell me if you have,
because if you haven’t guessed yet,
i’ll phrase my poems in equations instead.

for JE