(v) to take a break, to clear one's head; "to walk in the wind."

I Could Have Loved the Ocean

you make me feel things.

not just things but oceans

deep like your dark eyes

that pull me in when you look into mine.

I was the girl that never loved the ocean.

this is why I didn’t know what to expect

when you made me swim in deeper with you.

I thought floating was okay

but you made the salt in my eyes evaporate.

it was then when I no longer saw the ocean

as merely water but deep waves of blue

and sunshine.

together we swam to the bottom

and when we got there, the colors has shifted from blue

to a coral pink, then to an almost nude.

we went from me dripping you in splashes of water

to you discovering a pearl inside of me—

one that I never realized was so closed up in a shell before.


the shift in hues was beautiful

but for some reason,

I cannot make myself one with the ocean.

I remember this moment, and I see the blue,

coral pink, and almost nude swimming in my mind—

reminding me that I have felt something.

maybe you thought that opening up my world

could make me love the ocean.

but I am sorry to tell you all this

only to remind you of the girl you always knew—

the one who could never accept that maybe

she too could love you.

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there was this bar that I’ve always loved.

I’ve found it as an accident

one night as I was walking down the streets of Katipunan.

my friends holding my hands

as we skipped passed strangers and blinking car lights.

seeing you there, was an accident.

you told me that the guys handing us drinks were dangerous

but what I didn’t know was that I could get attached to you

and wasn’t that just as dangerous too?


when we came back,

we tied up the gaps from where we left off.

it was summer three years ago.

we were bright-eyed kids that had no power.

our only control the pens beneath our pockets.

your hands were stained with ink while mine,

I guess I’ve just kept the cap on lately.


I didn’t expect that I could run off

with some kid I met three summers ago

but there we were driving passed strangers and blinking car lights .

I held on to you the way I used to hold my pen

hopeful, but still so unsure of how the words would spill out.

I didn’t know how we were gonna spill ourselves onto each other.

but you were a white blanket that spread over me so softly.

I was more of a puppy that got left out in the rain

and when you found me, I was shaken, but at least I was safe.


when it was over, I thought you were going to leave me out in the rain again.

I realized that you just wanted me to find a new home

instead of the one I built inside you.

what started out as a summer chapter

turned into a story written by the pens that gave us power.

I never expected your ink-stained hands to leave a mark on my skin

but I guess that was the result of two lonely writers

finding each other in Katipunan.

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Perhaps You Were Never the Solution

she tried to look for answers

in places scribbled on paper.

he struggled to draw her conclusions

because he knew he couldn’t save her.

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“Here” is a mistake

once again I am back at the place

where it all went wrong.

I come back here

and I hope to gain a new found love.

a love that throws away the cigarette

and leads me out to an open space

for my insides to breathe fresh air instead.

a love that makes me spit out the corners of my mind,

not alcohol.

a love not just found on the couch,

but underneath a big white blanket –

that helps me go to sleep at night

and is worth dreaming about when I sleep at night.

this was a love that was not found here.

and yet here I am burning myself

from the cigarette that came from your mouth.

once again the smoke is clouding me

and I am throwing all the shallow parts of me

in all the parts I don’t know about you.

being with you was sleeping with the blanket off.

it didn’t feel safe

and I found myself awake throughout the uncomfortable cold tonight.

I tried to close my eyes,

but I only saw you in your plain blue T-shirt –

it’s only design my sweat, kiss marks, and fingerprints.

it was then when I realized that it was foolish to search

in places where things went wrong.

once again, it all went wrong.

and as much as I crave reckless adventure,

I craved gaining a new found love much more.

and that, I realized, meant finding fresh air

and sleeping soundly underneath a big white blanket

some place other than here.

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Bittersweet Evenings

it was late at night.

class has just ended

and you still waited for me.

we found an empty basketball court

and you taught me how to dance.

there was no music on;

only the sound of clumsy footsteps,


and the pitter patter of our heartbeats.

one of the gym lights were left on

and it shined brighter when your hands were on my waist

and we slow danced through the stars.

we tip-toed with caution;

afraid of tripping into a black sky

and stepping on each other’s shoes.

when it was over, I picked up my backpack.

we said our goodbyes;

I was ready to go home.

you weren’t a roof and four walls

but you were all I needed to go home to

at the end of each day.

I wish I hadn’t left;

but when the moon followed me home that night,

I knew that in each other’s memories,

we stayed.

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Summer Poetry

I’ve always had summers that were made out of poetry.

the ones when I was a little girl and he was a little boy

and we would tackle each other in video games

and hide under the covers when it was over.

the ones when we grew up and I fell in love.

the ones when we grew up

and we grew apart.

there were summers that went by like my alarm clock.

the ones where I was peaceful in pure bliss because I felt like I was dreaming.

the summers that ticked tocked fast

and when the time was up

a continuous buzzing would come off

and those summers would be over.

it always happened,

but I always hoped the summer magic didn’t have to be over too.

there were summers when I was an exotic pink flower

and all the bees would flock towards me because they wanted to be my friend.

I guess those friends left when the pollination was over

but that’s okay.

I wasn’t the only exotic flower in the field anyway.


despite the happiness, love, magic, and heartbreak

I experienced a different kind of poem with you.

it was the kind where we spent late nights in a cozy coffee shop

and it was there where I got to see more clearly the word “art” in this place earth when I was having deep conversations with you.

it was the kind where we could find small corners

in a busy, stress-filled place

to spread our legs out

and rest our heads down on our backpacks

because all that dead-weight we carried behind us was above us now

when we were alone in our secret safe space.


I have to admit, I didn’t need cozy coffee shops and small corners to feel safe

because we could be fast-pacing through pouring drizzle and almost thunderstorms and I would still feel okay.

I cannot fully explain how the connection we have assures my safety

but I didn’t need anything tangible.


you are my own secret safe space.


there is something about this summer that didn’t make me worry about falling in love

or losing a friend

or the magic having to be over.

it is a strange kind of forever –

one where I could shut my eyes, dream, and wake up

and it didn’t end when my eyes blinked open.

instead, the magic in my mind was captured

and it radiated into the good parts of my own reality.


I used to believe that sad girls wrote best

and that the best heart-felt poetry

were the ones that cried out of heartbreak.

I know now that the best heart-felt poetry aren’t always the ones about being sad and anxious and lonely;

they are the ones where I felt deeply.


I no longer wrote summer like a farewell letter or a breakup text message.

I wrote it as if the rainbow was the ink in my pen

and reading it made you feel good.

and the words weren’t sad.

and it was beautiful.


every summer became another sad poem,

but this summer was spent with you.


so thank you.

Love 1.0

I wish I could tell you that I loved you

For you were extraordinary

But your eyes were just a sleepless midnight black

And there wasn’t anything extraordinary about that.


I wish I could tell you that I loved you

For the way you always knew what to say

But when I felt insecure and lonely

Your words didn’t make me feel okay.


I wish I could tell you that I loved you

For the way you made me taste the universe

But you were a pond that I stepped myself into

And with that, I struggled to immerse.


I can tell you, though, that I do love you

For your peculiar way of making me happy

And maybe, also, because for the first time,

I have found someone who has learned to love me.

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We are Faded Pictures from Our Memories


My memories are screaming at me. They’re mad about the times when I smiled when you told me “You’re beautiful.” They’re mad about the times we’d meet up on lonely nights like this — on late nights when the emptiness in the air would consume me and I’d find myself missing you. They’re mad about the meet ups under lamp posts — the ones where we’d hide behind darkness and away from people just to be together for one swift moment. They’re mad about the times I believed you loved me. I get it, stop screaming. I’m mad about them too, I swear. It won’t be this way again. I promise.


We were in a place that was full of longings from our past and people we called our friends. I’ve felt distance when we didn’t see each other for a month but I don’t think I’ve ever felt such distance sitting next to you. My memories, they’re screaming. Please, stop reminding me. Please. I get that it was all beautiful and amazing but do you really have to keep bringing up the past? We both know that it will never be this way anymore. It just won’t. We’re certain.


After a period of loneliness and of not seeing you, I believed that I could actually bring us back — just like how you can pull a loved-one into a hug even when they’ve passed away or how a broken mirror can still be put together even if it has shattered. I actually believed in the impossible. How stupid. How idealistic. I knew about the downfall of what happened but I didn’t think it would have been this bad. I didn’t think it would be unrepairable. Now I know that you should leave the dead in peace and broken mirrors are still in every way shattered, no matter how hard you try to fix it. I shouldn’t have gave into my memories. They only know about the better times. They only scream about what-had-beens.


We’re seeing each other for another time and it’s like looking back at an old photograph and realizing how long ago it’s been. You’re trying to pick up from where we left off but once again my memories are screaming.

Once again, I am regretting you.

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February 29

It is already February 29

And there isn’t going to be a February 30.

There isn’t going to be another chance,

Another day, where I’d think to myself “Maybe, tomorrow, I’d wake up to the sound

of your name on my phone again.”

Because once more I am going to bed with a locked phone screen.

The last night of the month has come which means I have already ran out of hopeful


It is already February 29;

And it’s been a month since you’ve said a word to me.


I remember 36 days ago when I gave you the Does He Still Care About Me test

And you failed it.

I gave you no effort points because you waved your pencil down the last number so


You were giving me all the wrong answers and I knew that you were just trying to find

a way to finish with me already. Thank you for not even trying.

I know now that it was wrong for me to shake an empty can to check if it still perhaps

had spare coins in it

When I knew that it was hollow.


How could you have been so ignorant?

I had given you psychology modules on empathy and the way a girl’s mind thinks and

I always thought that my pointers were enough to help you understand how the

depths of the universe in my mind worked

Because I wasn’t just structured bones and organs stuffed into a body;

I was a complicated extension of veins that always needed to be connected to another’s

heart because that’s just how attached I was. I just really needed you to understand that.

But I guess you just haven’t dwelt in deep enough to fully understand what you meant

to me.

I feel like you’ve always just floated in the shallow waters —

Touching me but with a tug of fear at the pit of your stomach

Afraid of the waves that would consume you and turn you into what could’ve been mine.


And I don’t know, maybe I was just a bad teacher.

Or maybe you just sat in my class with the words on the board but never a plastered

stone that remained in your mind.

And so I stopped trying to convince you.

I stopped giving you classes because it is, after all, already February 29.

And a year of teaching you felt like nothing.


Let me refresh your memory with the three lessons that I had taught:

The first subject was about repetition —

How our mothers repeated “You’re beautiful” so many times over and over that we didn’t believe them anymore

How I love you’s should always be said but never exchanged too much

I always wanted to remind you of the truth but I didn’t want you to get tired of hearing them.

(I always needed you to believe them.)


The second subject was about pain —

How you shouldn’t be going around hurting the people you love

Because that, my darling, is not what you call love.


The last one was about me —

How I spilled myself to you over and over in hopes of being a part of you forever

How I didn’t want you to get tired of me

How I believed that you were always worth the forgiveness after every dagger you

stabbed through my heart and how I believed that if it was pain, it was just an accident

“Because you shouldn’t be going around hurting the people you love.”


I was that kind of teacher that wanted to craft sculptures out of mud — no matter how

messy it could get.

I used to only believe in all your good parts and I didn’t mind the earthquakes that lived inside of you —

The ones that always shook me; always only slightly killing me.

I thought that I was a god and that the dangerous and unstable could be tamed.

But it is already February 29.

And still, you are that glop of mud that I never wanted to believe you to be.

I thought of you better than this.


And I don’t know what you will do with all the notes that I gave you and with all the

memories we’ve had inside and out of the classroom.

Perhaps you have thrown them away or forgotten them already.

But I never will.

I mean honestly, it is already February 29,

And here I am writing a poem about my favorite student.


I think that my work here is over

Because you no longer seem to need my knowledge, presence, or time.

So I am leaving you here at February 29.

I believe that this is what you call goodbye.

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In Memory of You and Me

I didn’t believe in us

At first when I met you with awkward silences

When you whispered stuttered phrases beneath your shy smile and I didn’t feel like learning your secrets.

But along the way, I saw us in a better light.

No longer a gap inbetween us but rather, a tight hug

With poorly written love letters and secret rendezvous that made me smile endlessly.

I thought that your affection — your attention

Would last.

But you forgot about everything I told you and you left my heart outside your doorstep

Slowly faded when the rain washed it away.

Your memory of me grey and hazy like a blurred vision.

And instead of me writing you a poem, this is turning into yet another poorly written love letter.

Please keep this in a box of memories of us.

My letters are something I wanted you to remember me by.

Because although I knew you said you’d never do this,

Let’s face it,

You were no longer the boy that threw pebbles outside my window.

And I was tired of seeing only raindrops and cold air hit the glass nowadays.

You’ve started to forget.

You’ve started to change.

I didn’t believe in us


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