gusto ata ni cosmos na katabi si toad sa pagtulog
(Stories From The City, Isabelita Orlina Reyes)
I didn’t think I’d want to travel this road.
You asked me a year ago to walk with you
and in answer, I spoke of cruising
the simple path of our friendship.
Into your faded, worn-out knapsack
you stuffed your journals and camera,
your compass, and all I could do was watch
until you were mote in my horizon.
Now, here, at the fork of your absence,
I find myself unfolding
the only map I own that charts a way to you,
I finger trace one multi-colored route.
Along the curves of numbered highways,
I stop to wonder if all that dust
billowing before my headlights
is a trail you left for me to follow – or eat.
Over the phone, you laughed and said
I had to pay fines to cross the bridges I barred,
traverse the tough flesh of your hands
that I might arrive at your ever-crescent lips.
But I don’t know how to navigate in the dark
or choose from all these possible turns,
so I will get there only if you bid the moon
luminescent over this causeway.
Should I be late, consider me lost.
In this quietness, an elegiac moon
chooses to lie about its shape, and hides
its stolen light for another evening.