All of us are refugees,
All of us are migrants.
Who are we to treat others as fleas
When in this world we’re just vagrants?
A Painting at the Nemiranda Arthouse
Your own sadness betrays you
When the pain starts to take a new form–
Something that your memory sculpted long ago
And just decided to hide from you, away from you.
And so that form reveals itself like a messiah,
With palm fronds and white clothes waving in the air,
With you crying not because of salvation
But because the pain is here to crucify you.
Then you will ask why such a messiah would come
When all you need is just a day turning into another day–
And so you realize that remembering welcomes the past
Just as the past embraces the pain.
Really, the pain is without
That the new things you’ll learn
Are not part of your memory yet but are already allies of pain.
So the sculpting process starts again
Where you make this moment an artwork–
Something to be appreciated when you remember it,
A beauteous nadir that’s worthy to be resurrected.
The Sagada breeze,
As cold as my ex’s heart,
Stowed in Manila.