Dear God,
I don’t know where to go.
Do you have a spare room?
Do you think you can take me in?

Dear God,
Do you need a helper up there?
I could be a cloud shape designer.
Or a rain controller.
I can work for free.
Just take me.
Take me.
Take me.
Take me.

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*This is a rant.*

Back in elementary, I begged for my parents to buy me a book. They told me “May mga libro na sa bahay,” in a tone of voice that suggests I’m supposed to just read those over and over again. Always “Wag na anak,” saying there are other things to prioritize. So at home I thought, “Well, they aren’t wrong,” and started reading The Jungle Book for the nth time.

I was only able to buy books in highschool when a newly opened mall in the neighboring town has a store of secondhand books. I gazed on the books I want at National and with a mental list, hoped to find used ones at Booksale. I wasn’t always lucky. And a few times I found gems they are still too pricey for me. I couldn’t afford even secondhand books. I just make do with the most interesting paperback I can find at the PHP35 section.

Then I found out about Judy Blume and Jerry Spinelli and the Animorph series and I can’t afford them with the few change that I get left with from my allowance. So I skipped a meal to buy a book. I skipped meals everyday for a week. Even until college I kept at it. Though I have the college library to thank, a few good friends who lend me their reads, and the invention of e-books.

Earlier today at the bookstore I overheard a child asking her mother to buy her a book. But the kid was told, “marami ka na nyan.”

I wanted to say, “Are you sure, ma’am? You couldn’t even be bothered to look down on what the kid is holding.” But I held my tongue, of course. I should just mind my own business, I know.

I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t be angry at anyone but myself for thinking this way.

I only had a few lines on you
a stanza at most
nothing I can put together
into a decent poem.
I measured my affection
through pauses and rhymes.
And I thought,
this doesn’t feel special,
this won’t last.
But as you and I unravel,
the loose verses I had on you
start to intertwine.
Now a piece is finished,
and so are you and I.
I’ve mistaken my lack of words
for insincerity of my feelings
or nonexistence,
or falsehood,
when the truth is
I couldn’t write when I’m happy
and I was happy with you.

I’m tired of convincing myself
that I want something,
or someone,
only because I have no concrete idea
of what I’m aiming for.

I’m tired of settling prematurely,
of “it’ll have to do’s”
and “might as well’s.”

I’m tired of feeding myself ideas,
maybe-this’s,
maybe that’s.
Nothing is fulfilling,
just poisoning.

I want to know what it feels like
to chase something I actually want.
But what do I want?

With a sting to make me sleep
I felt everything cease
under the lights I might never see again.
With a mask that doesn’t hide
his reassuring eyes
he told me there would be little pain.
There’s a chance I won’t stay,
or I won’t stay the same,
or all will be well in the end.
I failed, nonetheless,
to prepare a letter that starts with
“In the event of my death.”

I’d sing you a lullaby
the only words are ‘goodbye’
perhaps there’ll be ‘you’s,
and maybe some ‘I’s
and lots of ‘hate’s in between
goodbye, goodbye
to the beat of my knuckles
hitting you on the face
please don’t stay
just go away
and when you step on a lego
on your way out
know that I put it there
goodbye, goodbye
wish I could burn you with my stare
I’d cut all the hair
on the top of your head
I’d ask Delilah for help
I’ll replace your money with kelp
and your coins with stones
I’ll spoil you till the end
on the next season of Thrones
goodbye, goodbye
to the tune of a scream
when I kick you in the shin
I know this is a sin
but I’m very, very pissed
and I’m gonna wish
you hit your little toe
on the corner of your drawer
over and over
goodbye, goodbye
I’d put glitter on you fries
and ketchup on your eyes
I’m not very religious
but I’ll pray to the old gods and new
for it to rain on the day
you wear your new shoes
goodbye, goodbye
we’re sixty percent water
but I’m ninety percent anger
getting fuller by the minute
soon I’m gonna lose it
you’re gonna be reminded
of the fire nation attack
goodbye, goodbye
to the rhythm of heavy breathing
and pulse increasing
to hell with reason
this anger’s poison
goodbye, goodbye
goodbye
goodbye

I told you about
my hopes and dreams
and I thought you smiled
but it was actually
a laugh that I didn’t hear

You wiped away
my tears, saying
I shouldn’t cry an ocean
and that was before I knew
you were afraid of the water

You were my anchor
and you weighed me down
and I drowned
and with my burning lungs
you warmed yourself