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Jaya Gumatay Apr 2014
I was born with birthmarks etched onto my skin
And I’ve acquired many scars
From all the battles I’ve fought with myself
But it wasn’t until you came marching into my battlefield
On your white horse
Disguised as my knight-in-shining armor
That I gained the title
Put onto my suit.

I’ve received medal of honors
From barely escaping the war zone
But never have I ever received an award
As charming as this,
Especially when it came from
The self-proclaimed commander-in-chief of the red army.
All the false pacts we’ve written before
No longer matter,
And it only took a couple of months
For us to forget the promised truths.
You know I only meant to save you,
To leave you unharmed,
And you meant the same for me
But instead of standing side-by-side
On the trenches we’ve built together,
We landed on opposing fields.
I claimed you my savior,
Yet all I get is the title of WARNING?

We’ve written peace treaties before,
We were allies once upon a time,
And you thought I was the princess;
You wanted to swoop me up
And take me on a ride on your stupid horse that can’t even gallop correctly.
You thought I wanted the crown
And all the glory that came from being royal.
You didn’t want me up on the front with you,
You needed me safe, I know,
But I can fight for myself
Even if it’s you I’m up against.
So give me my glass slipper now,
I can put it on myself.
Give me a sword instead of this plastic tiara on my head,
I don’t need your hand to get me back up,
So don’t offer it
Unless you want it cut off
And returned to you on a silver platter.

It’s funny how things work out,
How they never go the way we ever want it to,
And I swear
I would’ve hid my armor a long time ago
If I hadn’t known that this would turn into an all-out war.
We slipped and tripped
And came running back full-force
But betrayal happens every so often,
Our backs were turned towards each other
And I could say the steel from this knife I hide under my dress
Like we did
And fell onto your back
And I could say that I tripped
On these glass slippers you gave me
But they’re both false truths
Like the pacts we wrote before.

So forgive me
For being a back-stabbing princess
And go on,
Call me and label me as a warning
Stamped with your approval,
And I swear
I’ll wear it with
Honor and pride
Like how I wore your heart on my sleeve once upon a time,
And I’ll have it etched onto me
In permanent ink
So it can stain my pretty skin
Forever and ever.
Just like my birthmarks and my scars,
It will stay with me wherever I go,
Until the day I die,
Until the day I’m buried six feet under
With all of my past mistakes.

Go on,
Warn other people
About how much harm my presence will bring into their lives,
But it’s not like I never warned you either,
So don’t act like you were hurt the most
After the whole ordeal is done.
We’re both as bruised
And scarred as the other;
Don’t act like the victim here
Because you injured me as well,
Or have you forgotten?
Did you forget that you left me alone
Without telling me?
Did you forget that you gave me no explanation,
No written apology?
Have you forgotten that?
I can’t say that I blame you,
I would’ve left me too
If I had the chance,
But because you so blindingly placed this title upon me,
I will wear it honorably
Because of this war
Because of you
That way others won’t have to get into my battlefield
With false hopes
And wild dreams
About saving a princess dressed in all kinds of dresses.
I’ll meet them up in the front,
And they will see me
With this sword drenched to the hilt
And with my white armor
Stained scarlet
From the blood of those who’ve betrayed me
And they’ll see you as the warning of what they’re about to get into.
Jaya Gumatay Apr 2014
Can you pinpoint the exact place on the map
Where we went wrong?
Tell me,
How long did it take
For our world to crumble down
Into tiny microscopic pieces of sand
That’s been stuffed inside an hourglass?
Tell me,
Why does it still hurt
So much like being stabbed in the gut,
Why all the butterflies that used to reside in my belly
Have been transformed into a deep sea of gushing blood,
That what used to be in my veins
Are now pouring out into this open letter
I’m writing for every person
I’ve hurt before.
Tell me
Where I went wrong,
Why I can’t seem to find the coordinates of the person I used to be?
Tell me
What exactly changed?
Why I can’t seem to look into the mirror
Without seeing a complete stranger
Being reflected back at me,
Why everything seems to be going in different directions,
Why I’m feeling so lost
When I’ve been crawling on the floor trailing after something that’s too good to be true.
Tell me,
Do you remember how everything used to be?
How everything was perfection dipped in gold,
How we used to laugh together
Without a care in the world
And how I thought your giggles
Sounded like an angel’s voice?
Do you remember
How we used to stay up together
Talking about your problems,
About your well-constructed plan
Of having kids,
How you were going to name one of your daughters after me?
Do you remember a place on Father Time,
When we were important to each other,
When we called each other soulmates by blood,
That I would be written into your journal
For all of eternity,
That whatever will happen in the future,
We will always remember the bond that we had?
Do you remember that?
Tell me,
Do you sit around after dark
Thinking of what could have been,
Praying to God
That this will all turn around,
That we could forgive each other for everything that happened,
And all the miscommunication that we placed between us
Only needed a simple call
To fix the distance we knitted together with our bare hands.
Tell me
Do you cry late at night
Like I do?
Do you ever feel lonely
Because I’m not there to kiss your forehead?
Tell me,
Where did everything go wrong?
Can you find me a place on this globe
Where we can mend this broken relationship together,
Where there’s a fountain that stitches up broken people
And shattered friendships?
Will there ever be a time
And place in this world
Where we can put aside our differences
And move on
From this massive grave we put up?
Tell me,
Will there ever be a time where you forgive me?
Jaya Gumatay Mar 2014
Our story was left unfinished,
Got cut off mid-sentence
And in between the beginning and the end.
Maybe that was how it was supposed to be;
Maybe my 365-paged novel
That was dedicated solely to you
Was meant to be left unwritten,
And that no matter how many times I edit it,
How many times I scribble over mistakes,
How many times I try to erase the unnecessary things I never meant to say,
The main characters weren’t meant for each other
Even if they believed it.
I didn’t mean for this to end so abruptly;
I was so ready to draft out the sequels,
But I was left uninspired
And the words just didn’t come out right.
Our story was left unfinished,
But that doesn’t mean it was never important,
That it wasn’t special,
That it doesn’t deserve recognition.
It will stick out from the bookcase
It’s stored in
And even as the pages are filled with dust
And overspilling thoughts across the margins,
I will remember to always come back to it,
Always remember to go back to the doggy-eared pages
Meant for memories that we wrote together,
Always remember to read over the passages
That I highlighted
That were of the moments we created.
One day,
You are going to find someone
Who will write about your story
About how you came to be,
And she will write sequels
Meant only for you,
And you’ll read it to your children,
And your story will get published
Even with its mistakes
And doggy eared pages
And highlighted areas.
One day
That will happen
And I hope to read it
So I can imagine how happy you are
With the person who was meant to write you novels,
And not just poems
And love notes on binder paper
And unwritten stories about your adventures together,
And this will happen
Jaya Gumatay Mar 2014
I have counted the number of days that I have worn black for him.
Count my fingers:
Ten digits out of my ten.
For ten days,
I mourned the death of him,
For the departure of his soul from his physical body.
I was on my knees for too long
That I do not even remember its original state.
Forgive me, Father,
For I have sinned.
I have mourned too long over the loss of a loved one,
Mourned too long for a lost love that cannot ever be found,
One that flew too far;
I lost all communication to it,
My brain that was once intertwined with my heart
Was now separated,
And I can no longer remember how to comprehend this loss.
Forgive me, Father,
For I have mourned too much for something that seemed irreplaceable.
I have become too selfish,
Too vain,
And I know you said
That love is patient,
That love is always kind,
That love is never boastful,
But forgive me, Father,
For I have loved him too fast
When all I wanted was to love him slowly,
Slower than the hands of Father Time
Is ticking too fast,
Too quickly for my mouth to catch,
And it has left a bitter after taste on my tongue.
I cannot count how many frown lines,
How many stretch marks,
How many scars
I have etched onto my skin.
I am too vain.
I have become too aware of this appearance,
This mask that conceals me,
And I was drawn to his skin
And the way it was flawless
Even with the whipped blood on his back
And the way his shoulders slumped
From the weight of his burdens.
I wanted to wash his pain away,
To erase them from his sanity
And keep it to myself for safekeeping.
I loved him more than myself.
I would have given up my everything for his happiness,
I would have kept him from all the hurt,
From all the sin he ran away from,
I wanted him for my own selfish needs.
I would have kept him alive
For the sake of me
And in spite of you.
Forgive me, Father,
For I have sinned a great deal
And I pray that you forgive me for them.
I have mourned too long for something that was never real,
I was tempted by the smell of something sweet,
Something delightful
And it was right in the midst of your perfect haven.
Forgive me, Father,
For I was too weak to turn away from the temptation,
And now I am being punished for this foolish mistake.
For ten days,
I mourned for the missing part of me.
The hands that he held so tightly before
Were now replaced by the beads of the chain
That surrounded my tiny neck,
And each shift of my dainty fingers
Make the pressure more unbearable.
Each prayer I give out to the sky
Have been left unanswered;
All my wishes have been left in the dark corners of the church corridors.
The syllables of each rehearsed word I utter
Have formed scarlet welts in my back,
Forgive me, Father,
For mourning him for too long,
Even if it was a day more than you wanted me;
I just did not want him to go,
To leave me behind on this earth,
When I could have been with him
For much longer.
Jaya Gumatay Mar 2014
I inhaled you like oxygen,
Took you in,
Showed you my insides,
Let you see parts of me
I didn't even know.
You were intoxicating,
So inviting,
Something that was vital to me,
I breathed you out,
And you left with
Every nook
And cranny
Of my lungs.
You became something poisonous,
Something dangerous.
If I were to inhale you back in,
I would suffocate,
But I did it anyway,
I breathed you in,
Then spit you back out,
I repeated this process
Over and over again
Until my lungs felt about right,
Until they felt compressed and tight,
Until they collapsed on itself,
And I will do this over and over again,
Take a deep breath
And take all of you in
Only to exhale you back out.
This process is painful,
Gaining you
Only to lose you.
Jaya Gumatay Mar 2014
When she was 6,
Her wildest dream was to be an astronaut.
Her mom always told her to reach for the stars,
To dream bigger than life
Because she can be anything she wanted to be as long as she was happy.
When she went to her first day of grade school,
The teacher asked the kids to introduce themselves -
Name, age, and goal in life-
And when they flowed out of her mouth like a waterfall,
Spilling into the air with no way of turning back,
The boys giggled and told her that,
"Girls can't be that! That's a guys' job!"
The teacher made no effort to scold them,
Only telling her to ignore their constant teasing
And keep her ambitions to herself because
"Girls can't do that."
When she left that idea behind on the sidewalk of broken dreams,
A wall rose up from the ground
And caged her heart.
She found a haven in art,
Choosing to drown herself in an assortment of paints and oils.
She created beauty from an abyss of "No-you-can'ts" and "you're-a-girl-so-you-cant-do-thats"
But she still hesitated to show her talent to the world,
Wondered why boys always brought up the fact that most of the successful artists were men.
Everything they always told her kept ringing in her ears,
Like how alarms always sound and you can't ever get it out of your head.
She found a demon in her haven,
Found out that sometimes even the most beautiful things can have a dark side
Like how the moon always has a face not illuminated by the sun,
And she forgot how to create beauty.
When she lost all her inspiration to dream big,
To create art,
She cried to her mother,
Tried to find her 6-year-old self in the arms of her creator.
"We age like trees,
Have layers like an onion,
And every time you grow,
We add another ring to our skin.
Peel back the layers and you'll find your inner 6-year-old,
Young and restless
With eyes full of love for life.
Peel the skin back even more,
Like how a hangnail stands out next to your nail,
And peel it back even though it hurts and it bleeds crimson and smells like iron.
We're all aged and different,
All of different genders,
But don't ever be ashamed of being a girl,"
Is what her mother would tell her,
And she'd continue with,
"Don't ever let anyone tell you that being a girl,
A woman,
Is something to be ashamed of.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do what you want
Simply because you have physical differences.
Babies come from the womb of women,
Children nestle into their mother's ******* when they fall asleep,
Mothers of all creatures care for their young ones until they're fully grown,
So don't ever think that women can't do anything,
Because they can.
Baby, the first woman to ever be in space was a Russian named Valentina,
A word that stood for brave.
I didn't name you brave,
But you could be an astronaut if you wanted to.
Frida Kahlo was a famous artist,
And her name stood for beauty,
But, baby, if you wanted to, you could piece the world together with your bare hands.
My mother, your grandmother,
Her name stood for queen,
And she was the best thing I've ever seen walk on this planet.
My grandmother stood boldly next to her loved one's casket,
And she shed not one tear,
So tell me why it's a burden to be a girl."
When she was 6,
She wanted to be everything she could be,
But everyone always put her down for being a girl.
The insult of being a woman still rung in her ears even now,
A decade older,
Ten years wiser,
More rings embedded in her skin.
It still stung,
Like wounds being opened again only to flush it down with alcohol trying to make the pain go away,
She still heard them curse at her for being a girl,
A full grown woman now,
And she'll still cry like she did before,
Crying to find her inner 6-year-old,
Young and innocent
With dreams of gold,
And she'll peel back her layers,
Taking longer than before,
But always going back to the roots that being a girl isn't all that bad.
She's older now,
With frown lines on her face instead of wrinkles crinkling around her smile,
And all she could dream about is
Rewinding time
And being a 6-year-old girl again
Jaya Gumatay Mar 2014
If I were to describe the distance between us,
I wouldn’t know what to compare it to.
They say that the Moon is approximately 238,900 miles away from planet Earth,
Pluto is about 3.67 billion miles away from the Sun,
And the Milky Way is roughly 120,000 light years in diameter.
You’re about 1,275.6 miles away from me,
But it seems like the miles between us is greater than the distance between galaxies and stars alike.
They always told me that distance makes the heart grow fonder,
But how does that work when my heart only ever aches because you’re so far away?

I miss you
But these three syllables don’t quite add up,
They don’t make sense.
“I miss you so ******* much” doesn’t quite compare to the emptiness I feel when you’re not around,
It doesn’t compare to the distance between us.

You found a hidden vein into my heart,
Picked the lock of the cage
And stole my fist-sized *****,
Never intending to return it,
Only planning to use it,
Manipulate it,
Mold it like clay
And make it seem easy to shapeshift.
I made you my home planet,
The one I came to when I was down,
When I was all bruised in a rainbow of colors.
They say that home is where the heart is,
But what is a home
When your heart is in someone else’s hands?

I made you my home body,
But I was merely a nobody,
A distant star 2,000 light years away
That always seemed to be forgotten,
Only ever remembered when I shone too brightly in your eyes.

I was your Neverland,
The second star to the right,
A place for those who wished to never grow up.
You were my Peter Pan,
My lost boy
Who only ever wanted to be found,
But in a sudden turn of events,
You grew up without me.
I lost track of your age,
You were just a boy the last time I saw your face,
Chubby-cheeked and wide-grinned
With your feathered hat high up above your head.
I was your Wendy,
A believer in you,
The lover you loved so dearly,
I was your darling.
You left
And aged so nicely,
Grew tall so swiftly,
And I was merely the ant in your shoe,
A pest on your land of ageless dreams.
I was forgotten,
And I wish you believed in me like you believed in fairies,
Wish you sprinkled dust on me
So you can watch me soar and pass by you,
Wish you saved me from drowning in you like how you saved me at Mermaid’s Lagoon,
Wish you had never grown up without me.
We swore eternity to each other,
Promised each other infinity,
Vowed to never ever grow up here.
You told me you loved me,
And then you disappeared.
I forgot about your story for a while
Until you reappeared so suddenly,
Though you lost me from your memory,
And I can feel the distance between us grow even more,
Felt home vanish quicker than a heartbeat,
Felt you shrinking smaller than I could have ever wanted.
You were my Peter Pan,
My Never Land,
My home planet,
My whole universe,
And if this isn’t love,
Then, please, tell me what was it?
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