desire is a name of a flightless bird, hunched
over, preening its feathers to keep its sheen.
in our dreams, we've turned ourselves into birds:
the only way the old people will listen to us.
my brother was five when he jumped off the roof
of our house in Montalban, thinking that he could fly.
'look, Ma!' he said, before breaking two bones.
he no longer has any recollection of the incident.
truism: we do not believe in the things we did not see.
grandfather told me that mother was levitating
from her hospital bed when she was giving birth to me.
makinig ka sa matatanda. Totoo ang sinasabi ko.
in fact, the nurses had to strap her down with ropes.
years later, grandfather would deny our origins in air.
outside, the moon is the color of milk looking
like a glowing half-eye. Tonight, fear is beyond reach.
mother puts on the TV. A rerun of Seinfeld:
jerry, just remember... It's not a lie if you believe it.
once, a poet insisted on love's watery demonstration
before being taken away by the engkanto in Wawa River.
(but last we heard, she stuck out her tongue and married
perhaps, this is what we've always desired: our bodies
aching at every curve for the birth of something newó
the birth of a poem, the birth of water.
By Brylle B. TaboraQLRS Vol. 16 No. 3 Jul 2017