We were immigrants then,
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unversed in a small town;
we might have looked like
an odd young couple
asking for directions,
inquiring about jeepney trip schedules
and wondering at the decreasing price
of mosquito coils.
At a fast-food
we might have resembled
the giggling girl crews’
favorite soap love team:
two iced tea thirsty
partners in crime
charming the crowd
with their sudden break-in.
There being not so much as a taxi to hail,
we argued about the number of meters
each kilometer contained and
that we would have to trudge.
I bet a thousand pesos
insisting it were but a hundred,
so hold on to me,
we’ll soon reach our destination.
I asked you to wager your sweet kiss
because I was confident I’d win
(later when we found out I lost,
you gave to me my prize anyway,
plus a lot more; though,
up till now, I owe you money).
I looked for us a house,
like any other good husband would do.
I found us an abandoned shack
with merely a dusty plywood for a bed.
You found me
with a naughty grin on my face,
to lie down with me right away.
when we eloped
and cohabited (for a night),
we had our most delightful supper,
together nibbling on mango shortcakes.
Right there and then
I knew it was worth the wait.
My lips on your belly
were worth the loneliest nights
I endured without you.
which we held inside just one ribcage,
were worth the years spent apart.
were indeed worth all the trouble
and even the hurt
the next day when we said good-bye
on a bus to our city,
to our real lives,
in your bag, the unused coils;
in mine, the left-over biscuits.
Despite the human passion consumed,
still we might have appeared
like savages to the world.
9 August 2005
crystal face I kiss
tongue tastes like sweet cold rain
I fall into pond