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While you cover your profile pictures with transparent flags
ranting how terrorism should stop
retweeting and reposting those gory pictures of the victims
keeping up with the latest news
and trying to flow with the trend
like if this was the new ice bucket challenge
but with blood water.

In all honesty,
Do you really pity the victims?
Do you really feel the sorrow?
Were your families even part?
Were your friends even part?
Were you a part?

Or are you doing it for the sake of Likes?

Only truly
if you hate terrorism,
act like as you really do
because you look stupid,
hating what social media tells you to hate.

And only truly
if you hate terrorism,
You would do something more than a click from social media.

If terrorists terrorize to change the world into their own,
what are we doing to change ours?
once again slaves of social media who call themselves "supporting"
At the gates of heaven
we will be made to
strip and reveal our scars,
our wounds, our addictions,
our hiding.

And we will weep one last time
for joy, and mourning,
at the blood that we shed and was
and for the pain that we felt and he.

"There is nothing to fear,"
He will say,
"There is no struggle left to fight."

And so we will tell of our scars,
and sing and yelp with the crowds
that have already gone before us.

“See this here, on my left breast,
“was gotten the first time I decided to tell
“my parents I was struggling with *******.”

“And this here, on my left leg,
“was gotten the day I decided to ask my
“high school volleyball coach if he
“wanted for a prayer.”

“And this slanted one here,
“on my right forearm,
“was gotten the day I decided to walk away
“from the friendships I yearned to have
“to follow Him.”

Sickly, dark-skinned Joseph
Bustos was in a suit,
picked his phone from his
Pocket and asked us to take
Him a selfie as he motioned
To the statue of an eerily staring,
Possibly demonic Ronald
McDonald languidly swaying
On a faux-park bench. Collective

Laughter - "Are you serious,
"Man?" We said, having all heard
Full well stories of
****** painted clown statues
Moving its creaky bones
At the crack of dawn only
To devour our soul. "Are
"You serious,
"Bustos?" we genuinely taunted -
"Well I'll have a mirror," he told us
"So don't worry." I never

Quite got what that meant.


The laughter and tales of
Business school and
Med school continued full on
Into the late (school) night,
Dense tails of superglued
Frog brains, Chinese economics,
Girl problems in the
Philippine stock exchange drowning
The macabre absurdity
Of the take out
Terror, Ronald

Staring blankly into the crevasse of
The night, and we absurd,
Blanketing in laughter scarred and scared
Wanting to approach
The chained playground but shivering
At the slightest hints
Of movement - which of


Came. And Jack
Yeung (The largest, yellowest
Of us all, perhaps smartest too,
Studying in Hong Kong)
Leapt, at which we laughed,
And made jokes about how
The cockroaches
Matched the color of
Our country's skin, made it
Crawl not just because
Of its stick thin haunches,
But its brownness,
Seediness, inconcealable


To which we laughed - yellowed
Out, almost as pale
As the sticky ice
Cream cups that adorned our
Table, pale not though,

From lineage but rather
The collective rosiness of our
Disillusioned, ice
Cream-fed cheeks, and the fear
Of darkness, and eerie
Whitefaced Ronald, and
Brown cockroaches and

Spirits that could move
Frozen marble faces. Bustos
Gestured quietly
To his cellphone,
Gazed downward and muttered
Something about
Fraternities and connections.


Behind our mutterings,
The Movement: children,

Coffee-stained and tattered rag
Shorts slit open like grass stained
Skirts, holding their bony
Hands and kissing Ronald's
Hollowed cheeks like he was
An ancient god. "Stop,"
I imagine us warning them,
"Evil spirits, dark and deep
"As night itself, haunt his body.
"Stay away - we've studied
"His countenance plenty."

They would only laugh though,
And continue to stroke
His paint-chipped cheek,
Brown - not
Ghost-thinned cockroach,
But rather rich
Like brewing coffee and

Onward, soldier.

That’s what they all
tell me, but
let me
slow down for a moment.
There’s a little something I gotta

Thank you.

To that swing set in Greenhills Music Studio
San Juan City,
without you,
I’d never have learned that sometimes
it’s the other way around—
feet in the sky and head on the ground.

Mrs. Arambulo, the swing set’s owner,
who made sure I was well versed in
sonatinas and arpeggio scales
before I found out they’d already made
a piano that didn’t need tuning, and

Ma, who’d test my memory by
asking me if I
could recite
whole paragraphs at age four,
she’s why I remember things like
the smell of pilmeni,
the color of our first house’s carpet,
and nine page spoken word poetry,

to everyone behind that old kids’ show, Bayani,
watching it in my
second grade HEKASI class
would bring me to tears each time — no kidding,
you all paved the way for my homeland’s history
to make its home in my heart,

my English teachers from
sixth all the way to eleventh grade,
who all believed and still believe in the words I put down on paper
and spew out on dark stages armed with imagery and the Spirit,
you made me fall deeper in love with the way words can be waves
or flames,

Dad, who taught me
to climb mountains, to read books,
to let myself run free among the nations
but to always remember to leave a part of my heart at home,

to the four little boys I met in Hong Kong,
if we meet again, I owe you a better explanation to your question,
“Why do you dance?”
thank you for asking me that, and I’m sorry for my cowardly answer back then
but I’m braver now, and
I promise it’s for more than just fun or exercise,
it’s for this God I hope you get to know,

and to every Philippine history teacher I’ve ever had,
keep teaching like that,
we need more young ones who’d be willing
to die for their homeland,
you taught me that there is so much more to this country
than its own people tell me, so
burn on.
and make sure they catch fire.

Onward, soldier.

I’m not sure where I’m headed,
but I’d rather be uncertain of the road ahead
than forget
I started.
I’ve told you mine, now

tell them yours.
A poem I wrote for the #TellMeYours challenge. Video here!;
 Nov 2014 Dominique Espiritu

I prayed for light, He sent me sun
I prayed for moisture, He sent me dew
I prayed for beauty, He sent me flowers
I prayed for love, He sent me you
helps me realize
where exactly
you are.

and newton,
well newton
for all his
hang ups on
the temptations of

i guess got
it right

what separates me
and you
and the rest of the world
is not
hope or magic

but rather
the pendulum swings of

(arbitrary force)

the oscillations maybe
of a rickety train platform
on which our
converge, diverge,
and resonate

like naturalized frequencies.



don't want to talk
about the physics of it all.

i just want to sit
on the steps of this train

and gently soak in the
clickety clacks
of these intersecting lines.


just want to
as their doors open
and close,

and feel the rhythms
of their machinated dance,

sort the footsteps
that sift out
according to shape, color,


as we speak,
i have already begun
to count
how many

still separate


and i.
i lost you.

well, i haven't lost you yet,
but i am losing you,
in this game of tug of war
between me and
late night papers
new friends,
fully booked calendars,
miles of road between us,
and nights of isolation.

i'm losing you, but i believe
that you cannot lose
what you've never had.
so am i really losing you
because i'm not sure
if i ever even had you.
oh, the idea of ownership
is such an obscure one.

a good friend once told me
that drifting away
from someone
is just a sign from God
that you've learned
all you can learn
from that person.
in that case
i dream to never stop learning
from you.

whenever i remember
that time when
the rays of the sun
hit you in a way
that emphasized
how you are golden,
i will keep in mind
that you truly are golden.
gold does not rust nor tarnish,
and so you
will not as well.

when these moments
will become just memories,
and the sands of time
will bury what we have,
i just want you to know
that you will live on
in my dreams
and whenever
i  visit museums,
draw on walls,
pass by thrift shops,
tune my guitar,
read poetry,
and get caught in traffic.
i will look back into the
treasures of my memory
remembering you,
as my sweetest one.
this poem is kind of a compilation about conversations i've had with friends about losing friends awh and it's also about friends awh awh friends
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