03.04.04; Saturday Six, 00:02

 

Favorite eye-level billboards in Cagayan de Oro: 199 [for] 4 Hours Daily and 209 [for] 5 Hours Daily. Favorite Cagayan de Oro establishment: Detective agency. Suplado sa Personal of the Week: Cebu Pacific’s male steward who, after manifested unwillingness to satisfy our needs and whims, went to the front, bared his teeth and hosted the I-forgot-how-many-hundred-feet-from-the-sea-level game show unwittingly called Box Or Kahon? Titles/descriptions/pronouns used for me from airport until CDO: Sir, nephew and he. Theories why I was perceived as a male being: 1. Male population made an abrupt boom = x. 2. Work out flattened my chest instead of my tummy = x. Therefore, 0. No. of minutes spent looking for my half-sister: 0. This month’s vaginal event: The arrival of Petra. Impact: Signal # 2 plus some restricting force that made me change my mind in taking a pool plunge.

 

Dear Niwee,

 

COMPOSED IN CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY

 

To swallow must be its major function

And start up this process called digestion

Licking the dripping ice cream is its flair

Something that others can’t dare to perform

It can be stuck out, wiggled like a worm

When silly things were absorbed by the ears

It’s also a means of forbidding grins

To widen the contours of lips and chin

It contributes in oral speeches, too

For it releases the words, false or true.

 

Now as I stare to the throngs of people

I’ve realized that I’m in deep trouble

Surrounded by powerful, foreign tongues

My voice sounded like a dwarf’s, then left me

Alone in a jampacked solitary

Their breaths terminated my heart and lungs

Making way for the tears to deluge down

The instant I shuck the mask of a clown

My memory won’t lose grip of this night

When emptiness enveloped me so tight.

 

Summer 1999

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