My womb, my tomb

My beloved womb
that birthed me, with the salty fangs
of your froths gnaw my body into a tiniest

sand, lest the sailing light smell the scent of
my rancid solitude sighing for death
beneath the moon’s golden hull. I once waded

against your current, whipping whirlpool upon
whirlpool of youth on the virginal azure
of your flesh; but your wounds heal

quicker than a whip; and I, a, how swift
my robust breath succumbed to the smallest
of your ripples. Now a piece of broken

pride, please send not my body
ashore. Just gently disintegrate me,
my beloved tomb.

dagat (131)

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Innocence

Sinewed by the the ancient art
of tai chi, he forged the forces of the universe
to lure a dreamer into his lair. He stayed

silent as a spider; and with seamless
gliding of limbs and fingers,
he entrapped his prey like a moth

entangled in a cobweb. The sky
was bleeding then when she asked: “How
can I walk through the dusk?” “Just

follow me, I’m a pathfinder,” said
he. He whispered to her ear: “Close
your eyes my child and trust your heart.”

And to the tremor of his voice he danced
her, deeper and deeper into
the night. Soon his lips dripped with her

muffled sobs, the stench of his slobber
drifted into her pristine dream; and he
confessed: “She came to me; I’m innocent.”

47

Grooming

estudyante (10)

As he writes his name, his nails grate
against the blackboard; the chalk crumbles
between his fingers. Every bit of dust heralds

he is the boss – the deity that decides what is
beautiful, what merits a nod, what deserves an ire,
what warrants a ridicule. He squeezes

out from every bran of his students’ brain
the knack of chasing shadows that took him
a lifetime to learn. He orders them to spin

a yarn in a minute and shows that in a slash of whip
he can dissect their hearts, beat by beat. Blitzing
their ears with diatribes, searing their souls

with his devouring eyes, he makes them
tremble and pee their pants. His is the only way
to become, so he hammers into their heads that

they flop to flap because their idols and
ideals are idiots; making him appears not only
to be the boss but also to be the best. He never stops

tutoring them how to twitter his words, not
until they master his style of dribbling. Then,
like cows off for butchery, he brands them

with a seal of excellence. All for having
perfected the techniques of making their tongues
glib and stink of his spittle.