I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry.

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Nitong mga nakaraang buwan
Ang dalas kong bangungutin
Mabigat ang dibdib
May dumadagan sa akin
Hindi makahinga
Sumisigaw, walang tinig

Hindi ko maintindihan
Bakit ako’y natatakot parin
Na mawala nalang bigla
Nang walang huling habilin
Kapag naman ako’y gising
Ito ang hinihiling

*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?