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Searing sunlight glared at my naked form
through the windowpanes.
I remember we ****** against these windows
even though they were tinted, we wanted the world to see
this raw, *******.
But that's the point, isn't it?
Your face was once a canvas that I
never wanted to paint on; how could you ever paint over something
that was already a work of art?
But now I forget what you look like
I forget the very thing that keeps my bones together,
that keeps this reckless, perforated heart
held together by strings and gold
I forget that you were around.
You are lonely, you lead a pack
And you're on the hunt for
something that fills you up inside

Winter is here,
and I am alone,
a tulip in the snow.
You have entered my mind
in a trickle of gold and
promises dressed in words.
I don't know what it is about you,
when you saw me that night
all the things we have wanted to say would just
never come out right.
We down bottles of alcohol
woozy, fingers intertwined.
It was Labor Day, your breaths were labored.
I could smell you in my mouth
taste you with my eyes.

What have you done to me?
Little lady,
calm yourself.
  Sit up straight,
  fix your brows,
  swipe your lipstick on.
Baby girl, you shaved off (almost)
all of your hair.
When you did, you killed
you killed
you're always killing
that thing you call a heart.
That guy murdered you in ways you never thought,
but you're steel and velvet reborn, little lady.
Honey, you've handed your body
to strangers.
Thank God, they didn't leave you bruises
but took parts of you
and now you're lost again
(smoking Marlboro Reds to breathe again,
**** a stranger to feel again
I'm dying inside again.)

Well, look who's just arrived,
too good to be true.
Too sweet to be real.
Too raw, does he lie, though?
He makes you feel like tulips in Holland
(I've always loved them.)
He knows what your diamond mind
what it says and how it runs,
(I'm trying to make myself sound smart)
He knows how you smile and laugh
(I try to hide behind a mask, happy looks pretty on me)
He makes you feel golden, when the sun kisses the desert
(Bahrain sands, gold souqs)
Oh the things he says,
baby girl,
look at you.

Just ******* look at you.
He's telling you all the things he wants to do,
your body moves to the rhythm
and now you're slick,
the velvety folds, mmm
they're dripping in anticipation
(God I ******* want you in me)
His words make you
want him
need him,
making love from sunrise to sunset,
and moaning,
grunts and screaming
biting his skin
his teeth graze your *******
and you want more.
The furniture was not spared
cracks, scrapes, our clothes are on the floor
all we need is today, tomorrow, every day.
This won't be raw *******
you believe, honey.
you're believing baby girl,
you've believed, little lady,
he's going to make you feel loved

despite all your broken pieces,
you're still in disbelief,
7,520 miles away
it feels like he can touch you still.
The chemistry, this ******* chemistry.
You're air, so is he.
But together, you will be fire

These legs, they can't sit still
they can't keep up with the distance;
sitting properly does nothing
when he's there and you
you're all alone here.

the four corners of the room have never known
the distance of two beings
the universe is inside their bodies

coming together
making a new world

I want to scream your name
in pleasure,

until we fall asleep

and do it again tomorrow.
In this rickety bus,
smelling of burning tires and
sweat and rust,
I contemplate on the types of men
that have touched the skin I've worn
since I've fallen in love.
I think of them often,
The skater, the musician, the emo,
The writer and the *******
And my recent, the one who is in law school.
I remember how their lips grazed mine,
the way our tongues
danced with the fire, cherries and gasoline
that our hearts sung about.
The lights turn from red to green
Stop, go, get ready and do it all again.
My heart is heavy and tired
I won't love again
not yet anyway.

I'm stuck in traffic, and they're in my mind.
I wonder if
I ever crossed theirs.
Patrick. Ezria. Ryan Jay. Carlo. Andrew.

And Daniel.
I have tasted many cigarettes on these lips
that no longer feel like my own.
Strangers have come and kissed them,
leaving only ash trails.
It's not every weekend you find me
at the softest sofa in the living room,
downing gin, ice and juice
with newfound friends and old classmates
I'm usually on smooth sheets and
surrounded by silence
with only Netflix to keep me company.
I think of past lovers often and
with every stick that has passed my lips,
I wonder how would it all have turned out
if we didn't end or if it ended differently.
I want to love again, I really do.
What girl would not love to be called baby
or honey, or love?
What girl would not love to be given homemade meals
in a glass lunch box or tulips and violets just because?
What girl would not love talking
about the existence of other worlds, mythological creatures?
The planets and the stars? The afterlife
Her favorite books, her favorite tea and
the things she does when she tries to calm her anxiety.

I was asked if I would
let my hair grow back again because
I looked like a boy from the back.
Deceiving people is funny in this superficial way but
I would not let strangers touch my hair.
If he comes by, this anyone whom I will
start to feel my heart flutter for and
my eyes dilate in stars
then he can twirl his strong fingers through the silky strands.

I was asked if
Men were pursuing me.
I had no clue, I did not want to know
if there were men who actually liked me
and not the bubbly side that
everyone was accustomed to, after my past lover left.
I was never shockingly beautiful, nor effortlessly charming
Not athletic skinny or even dazzlingly voluptuous,
Always never an option, just a passing stranger
Everyone falls in love with my pretty friends
Also, they say I'm too
rough around the edges,
soft but full of fire,
grounded but lost in the clouds.

So I didn't want to know.

I can't breathe sometimes.

I'll quit the weekend cigarette boxes and maybe
disappear for a while.
Because I missed the sun and
the comfort
It'll get better

I know it will.
Wandering in lands
unfamiliar yet my fingers
have touched these sands and these stones, before.
I can't remember; things have been fuzzy
my mind has been fickle, this heart
is a mere whisper of a girl
who is now a cat in between her legs.
She feels nothing,
only a
deep need to be filled
until she moans into the night.
You came in, gliding like a moonbeam
Radiant, cold, harsh and rough.
(why the **** do I fall for the bad boys.)
Your hands are tanned
veined and strong, sure and steady.
Your eyes speak of things
that should only be heard in between the sheets.
I'm over here and you're all the way there,
this does nothing to keep
the closeness between my legs together.
We talked about the world, its comings and goings
(I have been so naughty, spank me like you mean it)
Then you just
keep me
on ******* edge
I wanna ****, you said.
Your voice gets me
your hands to
grab my soft thighs
and you to fill me up
ramming yourself in
rough, soft, violently
sore, screams
bruises with teeth marks,

******* feel so ******* good.


why am I here and you're all the way there
in the place we called home,
it's still yours,

So is this body

....for now.
Hello, Jace Lagan.
I want you to
wrap your arms around me
like you once did that one night, around midnight.
God, you smelled good, like gasoline
cigarettes, *** and a hint of
curiosity and bad intentions.
What's a girl like me to do,
all in my gold cracks, my denim faces
My sleepy eyes and wandering mouth.
You found your way into mine, and you
whispered lust into my ears,
I suddenly forgot all of my
creeping fears.
Skin on skin, door was unlocked,
the janitor heard my screams and carried on,
and you continued because
you knew how to move.
Those sad looking eyes,
they were filled with wanting,
But all you wanted was someone to fill your spaces,
the ones you burn away with whisky.
All I heard and listened and tried to understand
was how you were too good for this world
maybe even too smart for your own good?
You could be right.
But I look harder at you, your growing bristles,
your sore tongue and your teeth
grinding against metal
and the way you cracked under the weight
of the many nights of lining up into the sheets,
Your heart is dead.
It wasn't, when I first met you
5 years ago,

What happened to you?
I am a woman.

I am more than my body, all these curves and edges, my wrinkles and cellulite, my freckles and moles, the birthmark on my leg, the large one on my face and the color, my skin color, blending in white and black, sometimes both. We are universes on our own, made of stars both dying and reborn. We are the sun and the moon, the planets and galaxies. We are constellations, personified.

I am more than my heart, all this love and hate, envy and contentment, anger and calm, happiness and sad. The raging light and the smothering darkness. We are spirits from the wild, untamed and untied, we don't come back to cages, we make our own homes and we cultivate it. We are souls on fire, glowing always.

I am more than my mind, these questions, doubts, my golden and ever changing opinions and statements, my values and morals, the lies I hide behind and never talk of, the truths I open up to at 2 in the morning and the contemplation of meditation. The terrible voices, magnificent yet deadly. We are creatures of intellect, always thinking and we tie it with our heart, we are reflections of clarity, always evolving, never settling.

I am a woman. Strong in my convictions, in love with the idea of my courage until I show it as a lioness protects and hunts.

I am a woman, you don't need to bow. We can get on your level, we can walk side by side.

If you are not scared to.
Red sheets, a thick comforter
I am entangled in it.
My curves and edges are entrapped
and I have no weapons.
Left to my own devices, my fingers
scratch whatever there is to touch,
be it a headboard or even
my own skin.
The red welts appear, and I swear
cracks surfaced even.
This tightening feeling, rippling
like firestorms and typhoons,
a tsunami of numbness and
pain in my chest.
(oh god, it can't be a heart attack, can it?)
I gave up the nicotine sticks 4 days ago
Dying at 23 isn't the best way to go.
Suddenly the buzzing comes,
the endless hum and incoherent
voices that dictate scenarios
too romanticized to happen.
Stop it, just stop!
I can't breathe

I can't



Screaming isn't an option, it's too dark
for anyone to know.

That is anxiety.
I survived an attack last night

I don't want to die tonight.
If this is love, let it be known
that I have finally opened by bones,
to the possibility of forever.
My skin was paper, watered down to none
so I wear diamonds and steel stitched with velvet.
Golden threads have found their way in,
intertwining with the veins where ice flowed.
Now I have been opened, and I am reborn,
            the way my eyes have glowed
                because of you.

If this is love, let it be known
that the strangers who have taken hold of me,
felt my skin press against theirs,
whispers in the night, bad intentions
that we have wrapped in sheets and
burnt cigarette butts, used condoms,
              (tonight I will love you, and tomorrow you won't care)
they are nothing more than the ghosts of the past.
You shouldn't worry, my daisy.
I am the wolf and they are the sheep.
They should run away from me
their innards are ash.
Like the promises they made, as empty as dust.
My daisy, you are whole and real,
My fingertips will find you
and I will be in your arms.
              just as you deserve to be in mine.

If this is love, then let it be known,
that I was born to live, rage and die and love again,
aren't we all?
aren't we all destined to be built
like trees and mountains
and then see a sun, a moon, a sky like you
       for ones like you, no matter how high up we are
          we will fall.
I have gathered all the fire,
that was spat out of the lips of pretty women with lion teeth.
I have taken all the ice,
that was used to stab me from the hands of men with voids for hearts.
I have taken all the stones,
that was used to **** me from the eyes of the ones who have repaid with betrayal.
I have become a kingdom; small.
but unyielding,
I watched you climb the wall,
like the prince that you are
      you wear the crown like a king,
        the king you are.

If this is love, then let it be known,
making love is for listening to the sounds of heaven
escape our lips,
    (Ammir is a prayer, a familiar taste on my tongue,)
I have never known heaven,
    how does one become a believer of the Higher Being
    the angels that dance on twilight skies,
    the secret gods in the woods,
    the many forms of a God whose presence
merely lives in the kindness of strangers
when all I've known was the pain of
always trying to be loved
   when it was all just stepping on a bed of thorns
    to something that was a kind of hell,
that no one wanted?
Then you arrived in a chariot,
     the color of hope.
A heaven is a place where you and I will
share a bed,
and the sheets become our kingdom.
Your body's on mine,
we are the son and daughter of the Air,
we turn into a storm,
a storm of
sunrise, the moonlit beaches
Your name, on my lips,
and mine on your lungs
we breathe the same air

to make love again
and become it.
You were sitting across me,
in your white shirt and black shorts.
You're adorable, and you had a smile
that sent tiny ripples in my belly.
We talked about the ghosts and almost lovers
and why they never stayed around.
You looked at me like I had flowers
In my hair and on my lips.
Our friends made fun of us and
they noticed how we smiled differently.
I didn't know what happened that night but
we were sitting close to each other
and I felt the heat of your palms, tracing my thighs
then our fingers found each other,
the night is still so young.
Following me everywhere, like you did
with that smile
You caressed my face and suddenly,
I could taste you. Beer and strawberries.
We've just met,
you're gentle, and lovely
men are often so domineering, but you knew your way
around a woman's body with your
feather light touches.

The night melted into a sunrise,
I found you on my bed
We spent the next few hours,
so wrapped up in fire.

You're lovely, you know.
Don't ever forget that.
Crawling on this sidewalk,
blood rushing from
my burnt tongue, caught in between my teeth,
and the cigarettes, oh Marlboro Ice Blast.
A refuge of carcinogens,
memories in pieces much like
a torn letter, shards of glass from an abandoned shop.

You took me, inside rickety jeeps,
all we hear and smell are the shouts of vendors
the yawns of tired mothers and
the trash being piled on the side.
We see Quiapo, in red, yellow and blue
Neon lights, girls in heels, men prowling.
They're okay, they will be.
After dark.

Joined foot steps,
shoes scraping against pieces of loose concrete.
There we were in the heart of Ermita,
painted women, bearded men, animals of
feelings and desire.
We found a piece of the home I left
4,673 miles away in palm trees and golden sands.
Every crevice and crack was filled with nostalgia
you're my new refuge.

Oh Luneta, lovely Luneta
we ran with the grass and the smell of
sweet corn and roasted nuts.
Cheeks pressed against a warm night,
a cool breeze followed after
then light rain showers.
Lying under a flag of heroes and long forgotten histories,
this is a country I would
stay loyal to, with you.

Taft Avenue; this is new.
I watch strangers with voices that
sounded like bells, a symphony
Coffee, papers, thin framed glasses, sweet scents.
My eyes were hungry
till you appeared
it was raining that night, underneath a maroon umbrella
Letters were read, my tears mixed with raindrops.
Our lips became one, and
flavors of mint, wood and bubbles
could it be love?

Years later,
scratching at the layers and
I cast out this old girl
she is not human, she is a bird
a beast of lust, heart and resilience.
I see your house, but you have
plucked out your eyes, with sewn lips,
you won't recognize me

with this last cigarette, I burn again.
The window panes are
grey and trickling with raindrops.
They race one another, falling into
a downward spiral.
Some meet halfway, kiss and
drip quietly.
My bones are held together
with iced coffee and cigarettes.
My skin is the color of summer
gold and lust,
My eyes are deep in wonder
swimming with the face of
a boy I can barely remember meeting.
He's not a boy; a man in his element
the son of the sea
and his tattooed arms have
clutched the remains of my ever growing
heart and mind.
This is not love
No one can love me,
I am rain and thunder, the daughter of the air and the sea.
I am wind and glaring sunlight, the warrior of fire and dusk.
But he came gliding in
like a wolf in the night.
His yellow eyes, those ******* eyes
I see them in between my legs.
Moaning your name is my only recluse
My only refuge in the deepest, darkest
most pornographic areas of this,
multifaceted diamond of a mind.

I hate what you've done to me,
your rough hands on my

Just **** me, **** me and use me
while the thunder roars
and the raindrops race each other
and kiss me, bruise my petal lips
with your Marlboro tinted ones
until we're out of breath,
until we're drained.

One night isn't enough,
monsoon season.
Birth giver.

She smells of honeysuckle and
a hint of powder and Estee Lauder.
I hear her frying eggs and bacon in the morning;
she rushes to prepare my little lunchbox.
Slippers scraping on concrete
Bus stops,
kisses goodbye and a promise of
Adobo* for lunch.


She listens to stories of
crushes and strange friends.
She watches me make
good decisions
terrible choices
why are you like this, self?
Advice is given, sometimes I fight back
she turns out that she's right
Sorry, nanay
I love you still, anak.

Best friend.

Once she caught me
a razor on petal soft skin,
we cried
She asked me to live for her,
for my life.
Would have been gone at 13.
I am cradled in her arms
familiar lullabies
My wrists stopped bleeding.
I'm sorry, nanay.
Anak, don't leave us.


Armor is worn by women
they have a different kind of strength
found within the way they move,
the men are in shock.
She blazes though her career
spreadsheets, financial matters
and gets home
and still gets through
she is strong
a heart on her sleeve
fire in her eyes
and a softness to her hands.


You know how those
first rays of sunlight pierce through
the thickest curtains?
Finally, the house feels warm.
Breathing easy
she loves to follow you around
makes sure you're fine.
She is the sun personified
on cloudy days
after living alone for so long.

My mother is the first home I will always
run back to.
She sewed me wings made of
titanium and velvet
And she let me fly unthethered.

I am the woman of my own making
but you have put gold in my veins
my father put courage in my heart

I love you both endlessly.
*Adobo is a Filipino dish which is a stew composed of soy sauce, potatoes, chicken, pork and the occasional boiled egg.
*Nanay means 'mother' and Anak means 'my child' in Tagalog

happy mothers' day!
One drunk text.
That was all it took to
wash yourself onto my walls.
I watched you from the balcony;
you looked up and saw
my starlight eyes.
You smile as if nothing's ever happened to me
you don't know my shadows, my monsters and this
hard, cold, stone thing you tried to set on fire.
My friends call it a heart,
I see it as a monster.
Ripping itself apart.
The ghosts of the past have haunted me since October 4,
I am withered, emaciated, sick
from the idea of loving.
But you persisted
you in your wonderful ways of listening
I watch you from the balcony, don't hurt yourself on these walls,
but here I am, opening the windows, wider than ever
to you, to you, to you.
(we have to take it slow,
the last time I jumped in too fast
I crashed and my resolve was shattered.
Never again.)

You come in here, giving me hope and light
Is it real
all of it?

I am not a princess, just a wanderer
lost in places that used to be home
but you're bringing me in
into your kingdom.

Make me believe in you.
Make me believe in love.
Even though all I have been in these past few months
is a being, burning, dying, rebirthed
over and over again.
Hi, Ammir Prado.
It's funny how a handful of
stories that make you fall, love, cry and sparkle
make one's heart so hard.

The ones I have met, these
lovely, flawed strangers in their eyes
full of rain clouds and shimmers of hope
They tell me of what's happened; they believed in lies.

I keep them at arm's length; tired of hurting but
not entirely closing them off; my ears hunger for
their lost souls and the depths of their bodies.
Learning to trust and listen is fun after
crashing, burning, dying momentarily.

They have also fallen, tears frozen on their cheeks,
like I did, in the arms of a past lover; the familiarity was comforting.
It's funny, I say, how life brings us all around in its
magnetic pulls and waterfalls,
We get to be thankful, to be grateful, because
We have turned into diamonds after ashes.

Diamonds, they said, are created after immense pressure,
So we were thrown down from the heavens of
false promises and cracked lips,
We are beautiful, hard, cold and
glowing as bright as the fire
that nearly killed us.

Let us hold hands and
learn from it all
so we can heal

and then choose to be kinder,
in this world of ambivalent edges.
Remember the first time you fall in love,
it felt like a shower of petals
The color yellow on the sidewalk, gleaming
and the soft trickles of raindrops on
your face and the puddles
you and your lover run on.

Remember the next few times you're in love,
Raindrops against a warm windowpane
heavy breaths; you can taste them
The texture of their ivory to their tan skins,
sleepy eyes in the morning,
early cups of coffee.

Remember the time you stay in love,
habits and fights and compromises begin
memories of you both
hold it together and
the light shines through again.
Are you sleeping it off?

Remember the time you fall away,
break apart, tear at the seams
They leave after so many promises
like a bitter wind next to a raging sea.
You're caught in the storm, lost and afraid.
Everything you have painted,
their eyes, lips, nose, the ***
The way they smile, and the sound of their voice
melts into the storm of


Revel in the now, my love,
You are walking in your little red shoes and
your favorite dress.
the storm has made you beautiful, radiant
you are not the sea or the land,
you are the
Daughter of the air, free and untethered.
they were a past you open your curtains to
but now you remembered to close the window.

You walk across a mural, and find it to be old
faded and eaten by shadows

but the colors are brilliant

and so will you be

in the rightest of times.
I will kiss you
at the gas station
we smell of alcohol and
a hidden intention.
You kissed me in the taxi
God, you taste good
Your hand on my breast,
Won't deny this is the best.
You're in between my legs
we're kissing again
I'll let you in some time.
You're an unexpected birthday wish;
not all wishes come true

But this did.
Dripping in
        faded memories, past conversations, Messenger

It's been weeks when you stumbled into
my moon garden,
bathed in soft, white light and violets
the scent of curiosity.
          You called me beautiful, how I open my
          soft, hard heart and diamond mind into the world.
(tell me something I don't know)
We dove into whatever this was; I am hollow
            but you are full of flowers,
             I can't handle this
why do I adore it?

It's midnight now, I walk with familiar feet,
to a university, it was 400 years old
that housed us and
even more memories along its sidewalks and
   tiny streets in flickering lights.
Your eyes were covered, then you saw me
    I am in your spectrum, honey,
        mystery, secrets, apples and cigarettes personified.

Don't mind being touched, as we downed
liquor and boxes of nicotine,
laughing with your friends, this is my idea of fun.
     Your arm was around me,
      felt your fingers intertwine with mine.
You're tired, honey, I am not.
Bright eyed, streetlights, darkness
we whispered stories into the night and you
said I was worth it.
             Where is this going?

We hold hands and walk ahead of our friends.

Seventy six seconds are left on the red streetlight until
the pedestrians were allowed to cross.
   I am in your embrace, you cling onto me,
      we cannot kiss, don't want you to
believe me when I'm broken.
           You are in love,
I am not.
           Don't fall in love with me,
I'm a bird, you're all heart,
     my wings need to go where I need to be
      but I care about this
      Whatever the hell 'this' is.

Goodbye and take care.
Surprise, Miel.
It's 9 in the evening,
Coffee rings on the table that was once
filled with parchments where your touch was the ink
and I was the pen
We glided on the parchments, writing pretty whispers
on our skin.

It's 9:09 in the evening,
I remember kissing the faded pink scar beneath your right jaw.
Nobody said it was easy,
when all I could remember were the dips and divots
the slopes and curves
all the jagged edges and velvet eyes,
of how you used to look when we
made love until the sun rose.

It's 9:17 in the evening,
We got into that van and
suddenly we found ourselves up north.
The cold winds froze my cheeks
and my teeth chattered with loneliness.
But you were a familiar summer breeze and you turned into
an amber sunset and finally
I was warm again.

It's 9:32 in the evening,
I keep your letters,
Someday, I will bury them on a mountain so high.
If a wandering soul should ever find them,
They'll know my heart was in pieces there.
Plus the large framed art of us both
as cartoonish figures,
as foolish as how cartoons are make believe
just like how you loved me.

It's 9:55 in the evening,
The sky turned indigo
and bled into streaks of tangerine.
If this was change seen with red eyes
Then I will start building walls of
porcelain, steel and gold.
Tied with the titanium fibers of
old promises, old wounds.

It's 10:03 in the evening,
I have shed the skins of past lovers who have
left bruises and feather kisses,
who have bitten and tasted with tongues
of impermanence.
A wolf came by, ate my insides.
Then a fox trotted and
kissed what was left of me.
Yours is the skin I keep ripping,
from my ******* to the navel.
I will keep ripping, tearing, all of it apart,
Because I wanted these scales to stay
But I am a child of the Air
They said I was a phoenix.

I burn and **** and hate and love and burn again

only to be reborn

A cycle it is.
Without you in it.
A firestorm for you,
A whisper for others,
Fire in my *****.
The door is open and all they can hear
are the moans and the
bed frame scraping against the walls.
The memory of your taste,
on my burnt tongue,

I will never forget you.

— The End —