Kill Me Not Tonight

You found me for dead.
I could've faded quietly, without a mouth.
I was never meant to be like this:

My body tossed in the gutter, bullet-holed.
My wrists roped, blood-soaked.
My face wrapped in
packing tape.

Breathe, my dear. This isn't
the end. Others more are mystery
mummies tape-wrapped to the toe.

This is how we died
ingloriously: on a trashed street
faceless and defenceless
with our crime
penned on a gravestone

I am one voice dead among

But I will not die tonight
for you will kill me

Kill me not with guns and knives.
Kill me with a sharp blade
of forgiveness.

Kill me not in anger and aggression.
Kill me with passive resistance
and a bouquet of peace.

Kill me not with a senseless hatred.
Kill me with a rose
of grace.

And if all of us don't walk free,
if one of us dies
it would not be failure, for he would die
in the name of love.

Tonight when you aim your gun at me
aim instead for the sky
and puncture the black night
with bullet holes.

A response to President Duterte's war on drugs.

// Sep 2016

Broken into Feathers

When language cannot paint
this world, the mind
blends dream pictures
with memories. A tree

is not just a tree, but color
and fruit, the soil
it thrives on, the climate
that nurses it, the animals
that feed on it, its phases
across the seasons, its fragrance

in the wind. Oppositely
in a world painted
with language,
the mind is fragmentary
in its disparate thoughts
and ideas. A bird

is broken into feathers,
beak, and song. A man
is divided
into a name, an identity,
a voice. We are dismembered

from each other; our skin
the shorelines of this earth's
painted islands.

// Sep 2016

How the Cosmos Shine

What is detachment? To see
truth in the moonless sky
framed with our fingers
as we lay on grass, talking
about how the cosmos shine
in the absence of moonlight.

// May 2016

Every Mark and Ink

We speak together again
so we may share in the act
of creation, not just of words
but of realities (and what joy
it is to craft them however
we wish them to be).

Every mark and ink is written
in the palms of our hands,
lined up with those of the stars,
crafted only for us, by us.

// May 2016

Star Pulse

Like a star pulsing in the night,
my heart quakes across the expanse of heaven and earth

for you.

// May 2016

A Ritual

I have cleansed myself with the stars;
I have washed my hair with the moon;
I have rinsed my mouth with the sea;
I have robed myself with the night
into what I used to be.

// May 2016

What did I do

What did I do to deserve a broken heart?

// May 2016

Sound in the Dark Stillness

We have no body, no form, we are
the sound in the dark stillness,
born from labor's pain, made to speak
our labor's truth. We are the lie

that speaks through people's teeth.
The lie that says, "Love, it is okay
to cover this stillness inside us."

// May 2016

I open his mouth

I open his mouth
and place upon his tongue
a lotus flower.

// Nov 2015

A Pool of Rosewater

I bring you to a pool of rosewater
and wash ourselves here.

I wash your eyes and kiss them
so we may see what is just.

I wash your lips and kiss them
so we may speak in kindness.

I wash your palms and kiss them
so we may give love in every way.

I wash your stomach and kiss it
so we may feed each other with goodness.

I wash your knees and kiss them
so we may honor our sacrifices.

Lastly, I wash your your feet and kiss their soles
so we may always walk on the path we've chosen.

With a soft cloth I wipe your face and body
and wipe mine too.

From here on we choose to shine like this,
like a pool of rosewater, forever new.

// Nov 2015