The Way I Love Thee

You know how some people have said that when they’re in love, they see a person in everything? Well, what if they see everything in that person? So this poem kind of experiments with that.

Poem title help from Nik.


 

I love you the way doors open.

The way great works are unveiled.

The way books come to life.

The way ancient civilizations are stumbled upon.

The way shells crack and the pearl can be seen inside.

 

I love you the way grandmothers watch kids in the playground.

The way the fishermen smell the sea.

The way monks move with the air.

The way the blind hold faces.

The way wine is tasted.

 

I love you the way feet feel in the soil.

The way the sky is blue.

The way summer’s breeze dances through your clothes.

The way eyes feel looking at the ocean.

The way a child’s arms are stretched wide open.

 

I love you the way glances are exchanged.

The way giggles are stifled in the hallways.

The way icing is fingered off the cake when no one is looking.

The way notes are casually slipped.

The way trysts are hidden away in sanctuaries.

 

I love you the way teenagers run through the city at midnight.

The way drivers speed through the freeway.

The way rollercoasters loop.

The way rippling waves rise and sweep.

The way kids roll down a hill squealing in laughter.

 

I love you the way hands fold.

The way blankets fall.

The way a puppy’s eyes close.

The way a jacket holds you on a windy night.

The way you sigh when you sleep.

 

I love you the way the stars still sparkle.

The way folk people tell stories.

The way the sun rises and the sun sets.

The way grass feeds the deer, feeds the wolf, feeds the grass.

The way forests take root, intertwine, and grow.

 

I love you the way people see with new eyes

The way the world shines,

The way the world hums,

The way the world breathes,

The way the world moves,

The way there is life.

The Snippet Series #5: Vignettes of Fear

Running away from something until you run away from everything. Then getting cornered until your only option is release.


 

Her coat snagged on the branch and her heart stopped as she did, but her frightened soul re-entered before her body could drop. She heard the angry growls dash ahead of the mad hounds. The dark guttural sounds pounced on her and mangled her harried thoughts. Her trembling fingers fumbled with the hooked coat, but she only managed to scratch what was left of her ravaged palms. Biting her bleeding lip, she shook off her ragged coat and fled deeper into the cold woods. And still the thumping paws chased after her.


 

“Are you scared?”

I don’t know. Am I?

The leaves rustled and his presence came closer. I shut my eyes tighter. If I was afraid, what was I scared of? I flinched and looked up. His tan hand looked so out of place in contrast with my pale skin. I saw him hesitate, and my heart raced faster. Then a flash of determination passed over his face and he held unto my arm firmly. The heat from his hand permeated into my skin and washed over my body. I yanked my hand back and stared at him, my eyelids peeled back. I could barely breathe and my throat felt like a large piece of rubble had been forced down it. My whole body trembled, and I saw that my vision was beginning to smudge. I coughed and choked on the invisible rock lodged in my windpipe. And then I cried. There was no more holding back the tears. Like a dam blown open, the salty water spilled from the corners of my eyes and gushed down my cheeks. And it slowly began to feel like I was waking up from a bad dream.

The Snippet Series #4: A Grievance

Using **** in place of friend’s name.


 

****.

I’m not sure exactly how to start this, but I’ll just go with it.

I know you can be cold at times. Cynical, pessimistic, rolling your eyes at my idealism. I’ve learned to accept that about you, and maybe even appreciate. But I do believe that the way you act in real life takes it too far.

How many times have you physically pushed me away? How many times have you dismissed my efforts to talk to you? How many times have you sneered at my ideas and growled at my kindness or gentleness? I try to tell myself maybe you’re on an off day, or maybe I pushed you too far. But fudge, you’re my only friend who’s like this, and you’re like this 80% of the time. Do you not like my attention? Do you not like that I care?

You make it so clear through your actions that you want nothing to do with me. And actions speak louder than words. And words are all you’ve been giving me on chat.

All we do is chat. Am I only a repository that exists to satisfy your ego? Don’t you ever look for me, or want to go on adventures and whatnot with me? Don’t you want to ask how my day was?

Why are you so hesitant to connect with me? It ticks you off when I ask for favors, but you know I’d gladly help you in any way that I can. You keep secrets even if you know I’d never judge you for them or stop being your friend for it. And you judge me for my affections, even if that’s who I am. Why can’t you love that part of me, too?

You said that if you ever had an issue with me, you’d tell me. But when I ask, everything “just is.” It’s your nature, you say. Our friendship operates almost wholly on your terms. Fudge it, ****, that’s not fair.

I’ve been patient, as I said. I can be understanding, and I’ve been forgiving for the times you “explained,” because that’s often as close as I’m getting to an apology. But this has gone past cute. Past understanding. I can love someone’s ugly, but I deserve more than their hate. I swear, the way you act makes me feel like you hate me. And I hate how that makes me hesitant to approach you. I hate how that makes me uncomfortable around you. And I hate how I feel I need to be careful about what I say or do. What kind of friendship is that?

This has been bothering me for a while now, and I’ve always asked you about it. And you explain, and we talk, and I hope you understand, but you don’t. And it makes me wonder if I should be demanding these things. You’ve always said that you give when you feel like giving – of yourself, of your time. Fudge it, ****. I don’t need you to be my friend when it’s “convenient” for you. We aren’t strangers, and I shouldn’t expect nothing from you.

You know, last year, in the summer, we stopped talking. I shrugged it off. I guessed that was it. I guessed I was a phase, like all your annual best friends. But then you came back, and became bipolar in interacting with me ever since. You’d burst with excitement to talk to me, and then you’d brush me off. I’m not one of your jackets that you can put on or take off whenever you want.

I wanted stability. If you were going to be senseless, then I’d be constant. I didn’t want our friendship to be dependent on your mood swings. I decided I was going to be a consistent friend to you. But this is definitely turning into less than I deserve.

I want you to recognize me. I want to have an effect on you. I want to know that we have a real bond, and I’m not just pretending or blindly hoping that you’re actually my friend, and that you love me. ‘Cause if you won’t be that, then I’m done. If you don’t want to be my friend, then let me go. ‘Wag kang magkwento sa’kin, naghahanap ng makikinig. ‘Wag kang tumakbo sa’kin, naghahanap ng pagpapayo. At lalong ‘wag kang magpa-cute, naghahanap ng kapatawaran. My forgiveness is not equal to your sweetness. Don’t share your soul with me if you don’t want a share of mine, too.

I don’t want to let go of you. But if you won’t be a good friend to me, then the boy I want doesn’t exist, and there’s nothing to hold on to.

The Snippet Series #3: Kaleidoscope

This is an amalgamation of three vignettes/essays/word splatters or whatever that I made. I decided to turn them into a poem.


 

Look into the kaleidoscope –

These glasses just might make you see with my eyes.

The panorama is as distorted as a painter’s palette.

Yeah, it must make you dizzy, I know;

Standing upside down will make anyone’s head spin.

It’s like no matter how hard you run,

You always fall backwards.

But no sweat, this is my world.

I’ll just push you back up again.

My foundation is quicksand, but it doesn’t matter –

The whole world is falling with me, anyway.

 

The Snippet Series #2: A Three Part Process

I’m going to leave this without much context. I think being “lost” kinda brings out the beauty of the essay. Sorta like starting a story in medias res.


I

If this were love, a moment would be enough. If this were love, a smile and an eternal understanding, a timeless, stainless kind of trust, would be enough. I believe in God, who I’ve never seen – if this were love, how can I not believe in you?

But is this love? All I want from you is the security of the knowledge that I am loved. Because now I don’t have that.

Because I can’t be sure, whatever “proof” there is never seems like enough. I have to wrestle with the peacelessness of this stalemate. I was a fool to think that a stalemate was the best of both worlds. The man who chases two rabbits catches none. So can I have you, can this be love? Yes, if I choose you.

But I can’t choose you. Why? Because there exists more than just today. If we lived in a world without consequence, and all we had was this moment, then I would choose you. If we could be young and irresponsible and only dream of today, then doubtless, I would choose you. As I said, only a moment would be enough if I loved you, but I’d only love you if there were only a moment.


II

I’ve admitted to people as well as myself that this is no good. At the same time I’m torn. The realization that this was no good settled in much later than it had in the past – possibly because it took me much longer to finally reach the point of commitment. By some construction of the universe, I have been made willing, almost excited, to designate this honor to you. Why are souls so quick to promise so much?

Am I right in doing so? I tell myself I’m not giving too much – but only because I’m not giving what is sacred. I want to give these things because, I’ll admit, I can’t help it. I want you to be my mystery, my adventure. But at the end of the day it can’t be all fun and games.

I always ask myself, if anyone else treated me the way you did, would I fall as hard? If I’ve learned anything in college, it’s that everyone is charming and interesting. It’s not just a “belief” that I blindly hold on to from hearsay and thought experiments. From all the people I’ve met, I can truly say that everyone has something enchanting about them. There are sweethearts now who are treating me relatively similarly, and though they are flattering, they’re just not… well, they’re not you. But what about you? What was so enchanting about you?

You and I have been wrought. You and I have struggled and wrestled with life and with each other. I’ve been more than the “cool girl” with you. You and I’ve had unspoken understandings. You and I’ve dared each other on. Or at least, I, you.

I kinda wish you did love me. But the fact is, I know you don’t. You respect me perhaps, and are excited to see me, and you share your thoughts and emotions with me, but at least I have the wisdom to see that, since is the second time around, these do not constitute love. There have been times when you’ve been concerned about my emotional health, or my whereabouts, or my academics and other activities, sure, but your concern is that of a friend.

I need to start seeing you that way. You are a friend, you are a friend, you are a friend. You are not my lover whom I am obliged to treat as a friend for fear of commitment, of change, of not being ready. Nor is it because of false modesty or clutching on to reputation and image. You are my friend because you are my friend. I was wrong to think otherwise. There is no secret story between us.

I’m sorry. I’ve idealized you into something you are not in order to feed my ego. I’ve made you promises you will never hear and given you things you’ve neither asked nor wanted. I’ve blurred lines and dirtied platonic friendship. Platonic friendship isn’t just about not wanting to be in a relationship with each other. It’s that serious bond of people who respect and love each other as friends, without any ulterior motives or self-satisfying fantasies.

You are my friend,

you are my friend,

you are my friend.


III

So is this me, wishing for nothing but friendship? Is this me giving up ever feeling sparks with you again? It’s scary, perhaps because, foolishly, I’ve already invested many hopes and dreams in you. Don’t worry, my head knew what was going on – I just let my heart think otherwise. Falling for you is safe – now. But one day I’m going to have to make a choice, and I know it’s not you. So I’ll save us the trouble and the tears, especially me, since you’re guarding yourself pretty well in the first place. I guess you can say I was just scared that you’d eventually fall for me, but now that I think about it, you probably never will – that was probably just me wanting you to. I don’t think I’ll have to worry about the pressure of having to reciprocate anything, because it’s just never going to happen. Certainty just makes everything so much easier to accept.

So yes, I’m okay with it. You and I are awesome, I get it. But I think I idealized what we are because I was already imagining what we could be. And based on that, I was acting and feeling in ways I shouldn’t.

I want you to be you, and me to be me. And being me means stubbornly remaining who I am and patiently waiting for the right one. I can’t make you what you are not, and I don’t want either of us to make that kind of compromise.

I recognize that I have this innate need to love – I like serving people. I like being kind and doing unexpected things. I like making big-time gifts. I like getting people sandwiches when they’ve missed lunch. I like walking people to their classrooms. I like reviewing their homework and academic output. I like showing them cool places to be at and things to do. I like writing poetry of people. I like being there if they’re going through something. I like watching the stars with people. I love to love. And I suppose it really is just who I am. There doesn’t have to be any incongruence here. Whatever tidal wave of passion I have, and as I’ve said in the past, I can always shower upon my family, friends, and even complete strangers. And I should wear that on my sleeve more. I already kinda do, but even more so. And just be comfortable in it.

I really love that the older I get, I learn how to love more. I think this is where my stalemate ends. You will still light me up. I will still care. We will still be friends. But the struggle is gone. You can just be, and I can just be. Haha, I don’t even know how to put it into words, but I’m suddenly okay now. And I know I can do what I need to do.

Hallelujah.

The Snippet Series #1: Because of Who I Am

History has an odd way of repeating itself.


 

People have called me blessed, and kind, and smart, and pretty, and wonderful. But what of it?

She’s still all you see.

If I traded myself away for a prettier girl with browner hair and fairer skin, would you learn to love the girl standing in front of you? I’ve wished I could change – finally metamorphose into a butterfly, just to capture your heart. But then you’d only be in love with a lie. It can’t ever happen. The only way you could love me is if I were to become someone else. But if I became someone else, it wouldn’t be me you’d be loving. It’s so sad, knowing that even if I had her eyes and her smile, you still wouldn’t love me. Even if I laughed with the same voice and spoke with the same words, you still wouldn’t love me. Even if I held you the same way and whispered the same sweet nothings, you still wouldn’t love me. It will always be her that those beautiful brown eyes will see. Always her face, always her hands, always her warmth.

It killed me, how it seems I never to win. I keep telling myself that as long as I’m still with you, I’d be happy. But even if you’re physically right beside me, I know you’re so far away. All you ever talk about is her, all you ever think about is her. The few minutes I get to spend with you are cluttered with thoughts of her, memories of her, stories of her. It feels like it’s not longer you I’m around; just a disgusting lovesick fool who won’t stop yakking about the only thing breaking my heart.

Is it possible to reset everything? Unweave the fate I’ve stitched? Can we go back to the days when you didn’t like anyone? Back to the days when there was just you and me, having genuine fun together, nothing complicating anything. Back before your smiles became the most bittersweet things I’ve ever tasted, back before I plunged us into this mess. Back before we didn’t fight, didn’t ditch each other, didn’t have to lie. Back when we were just friends, and neither of us wanted anything more or less.

My friends said give up. People say there are other fish in the sea. My good sense tells me there’s no going back to the past.

But will I lie to myself and say that I’m happy that way?

Will I put on a fake smile and and run after someone I don’t even want?

Everyone asks me why I hope; why I allow myself to be dragged through the mud in all the pain. Because it hasn’t ended. Because I’m not happy. Because getting my heart broken is a risk I told myself I was willing to take. That might not numb the pain, but letting go of you is not only painful, is not only leaving you hanging, but is also betraying who I am.

I know I’m pinned up against the impossible, because you will never love me the way you love her. But things don’t have to be perfect. Things don’t even have to be the same as they were before. Just stop the swelling. Stop the aching. Stop the disappointment. Stop the jealousy. Stop the self-pity. Stop the tears. My heart will go on. My love will be purified. My eyes will look on you, as you are, not with painful longing, but with wise joy. I will not let this be the end.

And though you will never love me because of who I am, I will love you because of who I am.

The Snippet Series: Introduction

It’s the day after the official last day of school, although I’ve been free of school commitments since Monday. However, I still have loose ends to tie for my practicum, and an endless list of student org matters to be concerned about.

As I have pointed out in the past, I am most prolific during the supposedly most stressful phases of my life. I’m not exactly at wits end, at this point, but I do have more things to do than I have the patience to. That always somehow brings me to my most loved form of self-care and creativity: writing.

In light of this, I have decided to take up publishing some of my old works – with revisions, of course. How accurate the works are varies. In some cases, I simply came across an idea and felt like writing about it. In other cases, I write about things that really happened and emotions that I personally experienced tied to those events. This doesn’t mean that one is any less “true” than the other. I am of the philosophy that there’s an underlying truth to fiction – whether the truth is mine or yours doesn’t matter, and I guess that’s what makes the truth ours. There’s just something universal about it.

Given that we’re dealing with such ~feelsy~ topics, it should be no surprise, then, that some of the content may compromise the image some people have of me. In fact, I’ve been considering starting a separate blog where I can write under a pseudonym, and no one would be the wiser. Isn’t it funny, that in order to let our true selves come out, we have to wear a mask?

But I’m not so scared of letting people construct an image of me that also has emotional elements to it (even if I’ve received comments about how I can be so “detached”, and “above drama”, the latter probably well-meaning but a little naive). However, I do like my privacy, and I also don’t like people knowing what exactly is going on in my mind, especially in the present. I think that’s why I waited so long to publish these works, as well. So that I could at least distance myself, and so that I could change up the chronological order and no one would know the better. As I said, they’re old works, and I will insist on their dating to be left a mystery. I intend to publish the works in no particular with context just clear enough for the reader to understand what is going on in the poem or essay. In fact, I may even use third person when explaining the works. Perhaps the stories can be “solved” and strung together, but then you’d have to know me really, really well and be pretty dedicated to putting it all together. I doubt anyone would bother, but the invitation is there for anyone. I like leaving doors open like that.

The works are a mishmash of essays and poems, and I think that there’s still a lot I have to figure out, concerning technical matters such as formatting on this platform, to “Does this word work?” to “What exactly do I even mean?”.These works are ones that I put together during the heat of the moment, or against the flame of inspiration, but I do intend to review them for clarity and also to bring them up to my standards if I have to. I should also warn you that a lot of these works, despite being “reviewed” still feel unfinished, like there’s something more I could still add, something more I could edit. But then again, I suppose that’s what anyone dealing with art would feel like. In other words, if something is unclear, just know that it might be unclear to me, too. But I’d love to discuss these things with anyone willing to ask. 🙂

 

Hope you enjoy! 😀