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Ksh Jun 2020
Lips parted in that one small moment,
Straddling a life of knowing and not knowing
And with flushed skin and sweaty palms and eyes that fail to focus,
A name falls --

Oh, to love and be loved in return;
A reality that I have never known.
Ksh May 2020
My first love was like my first whiff of a cigarette --
Strong. Overwhelming. Suffocating.
(It was a stick of Marlboro Red if anyone's asking)

Was it too much for someone
who's never smoked or loved in their entire life?
Perhaps. Yet, there I was -- willing to fall forward,
into the abyss of the novelty of it all.

And I did.
Fall -- with the click of the lighter.
Falling -- with each inhale.
Fallen -- with each exhale.

It's been days, weeks, months, years.
I've had lighter cigarettes, flavored love,
and I still get overwhelmed and choke
and tear up even at the first whiff.

But I guess, that's where the charm is.
Not with the ashes that fall to my feet,
but the delicate pressure of lips,
the heat it holds hands with.

The beauty lies in going through the motions.
Ksh May 2020
The evening is quiet;
If by 'quiet' one disregards the breeze blowing by --
The clicking of the cicadas on one summer night.

I look up at the inky black sky and realize
That the moon is beautiful --
in a way unlike how conventional beauty is
expected to rob us of our breaths,
to give us tunnel visions,
make us chase the ecstasy of endless nights
in drunken stupor, in drugged haze.

It is not hot-blooded and obsessive and oppressive,
but quite the opposite;
Cold and detached, with a balanced air
of elegance and arrogance that which
only ethereal beings can achieve.

In the back of my mind, I've always known.
I've always felt the moon's presence, heard its call,
but have taken it all for granted.
Its muted warmth, its soft light
that drags my weary bones and tired soul
to the lonely bed, to cold thin sheets,
to the four grey walls I call a home.

Would any other lover be as kind?
Would any other pair of hands be as gentle?
Would any other voice be as soft?
I don't know, nor do I wish to know.
The moon is all I've ever wanted...

...but now I fear it's too late.
What once was I thought the apex of your moonrise
was already your descent;
What else can I do but watch?
Just like celestial bodies in the sky,
we share the same horizon
but are destined to never meet.

My love is the sun, which rises
only when your moon sets.
A short poem I wrote for my socmed au over on twitter, which is called "Ligaya". The character, Keiji, writes and recites this as an expression of love, but changes the last stanzas as he realizes that the one he loves is already happily in love with someone else.
Ksh May 2020
Kay sarap sigurong matulog ng mahimbing,
Na para bang naiiwan ang mga problema
Sa simpleng pagpikit lamang ng mga mata;
Na paunti-unting naiibsan ang sakit at hapdi
sa bawat hinga, sa bawat saglit;
Na dahan-dahang nawawala ang mga
lamig-lamig ng katawan, mga kalamnan
na ang alam lang ay pagod at paninigas.

Kung ako ma'y tuluyan nang matulog,
Pakiusap -- wag mo na akong gisingin;
Pagka't ako'y masaya na sa kawalan --
ng kahirapan, ng pagdurusa sa mundo.
Ksh Mar 2020
Empty streets, flickering lights
Not a soul in sight in the darkness of the night.
No fevered whispers, no drunken gait,
No flirty couples, no late-night deadlines.

The streets are devoid of life,
And yet you can't say it's dead.

People are living, breathing, sleeping,
under different roofs, in different rooms,
in varying states of ecstacy and misery and outright boredom.
In endless creativity and stuttering breaths,
witness the arousal and the ebb and flow of time
without so much as a second thought
to anyone outside the realm of safety and peace
within the four corners of their reality.

With each inhale, there is life.
Why can't we say that each exhale brings death?

For what is death if not simply as the absence of life?
When the glimmer in his eyes fades, when the smile you long for
doesn't appear, when you reach for his hand and find nothing but air--

It's empty.
It's meaningless.

I don't feel alive without you.
Yet I don't feel like I'm dead, either.

And so here I am, in a weird limbo that is just pain, pain, pain--
The pain of each inhale not bringing me what life is supposed to be
as described in picturesque scenes from tiny little windows.
The disappointment of every exhale that brings no end to this emptiness, this chasm of nothing in my chest that you once filled.

Empty streets, like veins that pump blood that refuse to sing.
Flickering lights, from my lighter that spouses one last, dying flame.
No fevered whispers, no drunken gait.
No love, no adrenaline.
Ksh Mar 2020
[drink me]

the label is clear enough,
red triple x's on proud display
there is no other choice but to drink to advance to the next room

and in doing so, my head above the clouds is suddenly
under the table
my feet are suddenly in shoes several sizes too large
and I am swamped by the clothes that I had chosen for myself

the drink tastes like roast turkey and butter toast.
warm and familiar, reminiscent of
family gatherings, happy times.
all things i look into from outside the window,
little match girl, little muse.

the giants in the next room address me,
but they don't look down; instead, look up
and whisper that I am too tall for the room
when in reality, I feel inferior, in all aspects

the taste of warmth lingers on my lips
but it turns sour with unfamiliarity
how I wish it really was the poison i had sought after.
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