Lives

She resorted into feeling appalled upon seeing the news of another vigilante execution in the Metro on T.V. But she was quick to correct herself when she thought of the term. She tells herself, “It’s extra-judicial killing”, thus validating her anger at the state; she wouldn’t raise her yet unborn child under a government that does not value human life, regardless of the crime it has committed. She is convinced that a revolution is in order. She loves her child so; the one that she chose to have and to keep. It is her miracle child after her second abortion.

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Those Boys

Even back in high school, she would always be in awe of those boys bruised from after-school fights; the ones who were always failing in subjects and dropping out of school. Once, her body trembled in the mere thought of being touched by this boy whom she saw brought to the guidance counselor. The boy radiated with anger for a bloodied peer who told of their break in of the faculty office for answer keys to the 4th periodical exam. She remembered how, before being expelled, he let his warm wet tongue explore her flesh at the back of the THE room. She felt herself unravel as the tongue slid itself from her navel down to her vulva and found its way into her moist inner flesh. It was then that she felt her skin crawl in all directions across the ground, burying its roots deep, nourishing from all the hidden minerals. She felt herself grow wings that spread into space, reaching the stars which scorched her feathers. She felt her head exploding into supernovas, creating black holes that devoured all celestial bodies.

In college, she broke up with a guy who always made school on time. He would only excuse himself from class to address student council matters. He promised her a ring and a house. He promised her himself. But she would have none of it. She wanted brutish hands making their mark on her smoothness. She wanted the intensity of skin against skin, of hard muscles tensing in anticipation of domination. She wanted the warm and wet tongue. But with this boy, this uneventful, safe boy, there was no fire. She longed for the earth. For the firmament. But there was only a calm that felt like an endless pit of nothing.

Now, after the years had robbed her of her youth, she tries to endure the prying eyes of policemen behind their wooden desks. She wipes the tears off her bruised eyes as she reports her husband who came home the night before in a bad mood.

Panata

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He can no longer remember as to when he started frequenting the church in Polo.

In his early 30s, he had made a panata to the image of the Our Lady of Lourdes at the grotto since it had been reported to have been seen dancing on its pedestal. He would wear the same attire: a white linen, short-sleeved polo tucked in a black baggy trousers. His leather shoes had been polished to perfection. His hair greased and combed up which draws attention to his pointed face and high cheek. But despite his devotion, he can’t seem to shake off the feeling of sadness (he had resorted into calling it that for the lack of better terms to stand for what he was feeling)

Years before this, his wife had been sexually assaulted and murdered in their home. The man had been in a state of stupor ever since. So when he had heard of the miracle, he had prayed vigorously to the image, hoping that it could bring the culprit to justice. And that his faith could bring him solace.

Then one night, he dreamt of his wife. She was on the floor with her back on the bloodstained walls of their master’s bedroom. Her wavy hair was disheveled. Her face had bruises as he clearly remembers when he saw her on the metal slab at the Valenzuela Police Morgue. Her undergarment was on her left ankle and her floral bestida raised to the waist. Her thick pubic hair was wet with blood and semen.

He knew that at the night of the murder, she was fixing him dinner. He knew that she was trying to make up for the fight they had that morning about why he refuses to go to her parents’ house whom had resented him since day one. She raised her head and looked towards the window. And there, he saw that the Virgin Mary standing, looking over at the darkening horizon. She turns to him and says, “There is nothing; only your definition endures my son.”

He woke up with his kamiseta heavy with sweat.

Before dawn broke, he was already by the grotto at Polo. In his usual attire, he knelt before the image of the Virgin Mary whose head was raised to the heavens, completely unaware of her worshipper’s presence. In the middle of his third Hail Mary, he suddenly felt a sharp pain on the right hemisphere of his brain. Falling to the ground, he started convulsing uncontrollably. The katiwala maintaining the plants on the church grounds rushed to him but froze even before he could get near him. The katiwala watched as he started floating from the ground.

From the firmament, the Virgin Mary, clothed with a robe that shone like the sun watched expressionless. She turned to Yahweh who was dressed in a brighter, white regalia that resembled a medieval battle armor. He was seated on a throne of gold and chrome situated on a glass floor that seemed to be burning with blue flame.

“Should we tell him now?” She asked Yahweh.

“No. Now we commence Phase 2.” Yahweh replied.

 

Leftovers

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In the election that had just ended, the dictator’s son cries electoral fraud. He learns the functionalities of the vote-counting machine, sifting through them as a good housewife goes over grocery items. He resorts to a campaign and uses adjectives against his opponent.
Somewhere in the city, a boy opens a long-forgotten journal and uncovers notes on a failed dietary plan, research on digital advertising and studies on the supernatural. The notebook isn’t divided effectively; the topics bleed into each other. Additional notes are scribbled indiscriminately across the lines and the margins.
The girl who used to be the boy’s lover sends him a friend request over social media. He deletes it and proceeds planning about the next day’s gym routine. She counts the days to the request’s approval.
Outside, the sun hangs ablaze on what is now an azure sky. The heat is intolerable to normal folk; everyone knows that the evening would only bring heavy rainfall and the heat of the following day could bring about flu.

Ourselves

MakatiWe have been going through the shape of each building in the city and constantly find dissatisfaction in their design. We try to put meaning in the concrete walls and spaces as we write songs and poetry that no one would read. We look for signs through words and little events, wanting definitions; of love that have never really been requited. We climb mountain tops, swim streams, and look into the eyes of strangers for reflection only to find gaping spaces and rising walls. Tomorrow, fire shall fall from the skies and as God contrives His pity, we will weep for things that we have already lost a long time ago. And then maybe, we can finally think of the line that would finish our literature.