Hudas

Mahal, mahal, halika’t makinig muna
Bukas, makalawa ika’y tutuksuhin niya
Sasabihing galak ang kanyang biyaya
Tangan ang pangakong sarap ang dala
Ikukubli muna ang mga hinog na pasa
Mga sugat sa braso at lakad na paika-ika
Kakantyawin ka’t patitikimin ng saya
Sisiguraduhing kalooban mo’y nakaugat na
At kapag salita mo’y kasiping na niya
Saka ilalabas ang kahoy at sinturera
Pag nagpumiglas ka’y hahalakhak siya
Malalasap mo ang talim ng kanyang dila
Kapag bumigay ka’y ibabalot lang ng tela
Sa talukbong ng gabi’y itatapon sa kalsada
Katalik kang tinuring lang na basura
Ganyan si Hudas, dalawa ang mukha.

Kampana

Tumunog ang kampana doon sa silangan
Nagbababala sa paparating na trahedya
Takot at sindak ngayon ang namimintana
Pagkat kamatayan ang lulan ng kasaysayan
Pulang ginagapos ng mapaniil at nanghahamak
Dugo ay lumiligwak at malapit nang umapaw
Ngunit hindi ito alintana ng mga kamay
Na sa aking leeg mahigpit na nakalatay
Nangangatal na ang tinig at kalamnan
Ng aking inang ginapos at binihag
Ngunit patuloy ang pagbaka at paglaban
Kahit ang paa’t kama’y unti-unting nalalantay
Hindi magmamaliw ang tiwala sa bukas
Kung kailan ganap muli ang mga karapatan
Kung kailan lubos na ang kalayaan
Kung kailan tagumpay ay nariyan na sa silangan

Certainty

January 6, 2018

Constant fear envelopes me like a
Cretin that lurks in a dark alley,
Carefully lying in wait as I try to helplessly
Cheat my way across a myriad of
Crevices on the pavement. Sinister as a
Criminal hungry for a kill, yet also as
Calming as a mother when I am at the
Cusp of another wrong turn, or a
Cliff that I will willingly wander towards.
Careful not to disrupt a long vigil of
Uncertainty; but takes not a moment to
Challenge the slightest hints of
Confidence in my otherwise trembling voice.
Contrite sighs, even now, will not
Conceal the truth I so desperately try to
Castaway into the night. Left to
Crumble, not to be heard. Yet still,
Cruel, its whisper triumphs over a
Cascade of my own voice, screaming―
Can I blame the wavering heart for a
Conviction I do not have?

Barrio Crimes

January 2, 2018

He was attuned to the whispers in the barrio
A buzz resonating from the 1960s
When her black laced panties would have been a scandal perverse
Yet they talked about her and the clothes she wore and how
Her body was there for everyone to stare
Her legs bare and still, unmoved by the commotion
That stole that cold dawn in December
When a single scream beat the rooster’s daily habit
And shattered the silence of a town asleep.

Still, never did even a single sound leave his lips
And in deference to his loss, they spoke not a word aloud
But behind closed doors, through hushed voices
And around gas lamps, rumors were eaten for dinner
They had no doubts about it.

He was attuned to the whispers in the barrio.