Make Room for Poetry

Piece by Piece

Curse by curse

I was striped and worn

‘Til I was thin enough

To be torn.

Punch by punch

I deserve each blow.

How was I know

Of my worth?

Breath by breath

Scrambling at thin straws

Satisfied with scraps

Of his love.

This is how

You found me down

Drowning in the well

Of my fears.


Piece by piece

You restored in me

All the strength I though

I had lost.

Touch by touch

You have made me feel

That your love could heal

All my scars

Kiss by kiss

I began to see

The face in the mirror

Smile at me.

Piece by piece

I am whole once more

Ready to explore

Who I am.


First Date, Last Date

Heart in my hand, My stomach clogs my throat.

Head’s not resting between my shoulders.

It has gone far away, shaking its gray matter

As it stares

At the sorry state that I am in.

And all because I stayed in front

Of the door you closed on my face.

Now, instead of your soft lips,

My cheek rests on wood.

Grain mixes with wet salt.

I will my feet to walk away

But it is jelly on your paved doorstep.

What a night.

AnjCP 2017

False Memories

On our first date, you leaned over to kiss me. I tiptoed and tilted my head up to kiss you.

On our first anniversary, you sent me a bouquet of tulips. I reserved a fancy restaurant and paid for the bill.

On Valentine’s day, you got on your knees and proposed. I asked you where our relationship was going.

Why is it that I remembered us differently?

And now that I am able to separate what’s real from my created reality,

I realize there’s nothing to save because the best part of us was me.

AnjCP 2017

In Between

Did I need to be happier?

I certainly didn’t think so.

I honestly thought I couldn’t want

for anything more.

I went to where my feet took me;

Ate what my stomach told me;

Sang when my spirit moved me.

And then you came along

Like a stone on a paved path

Tripping my footing.

Now, I walk the line

between bliss and anguish

Never sure of where to stand.

AnjCP 2017

Love is a Many-Flavored Thing

When I began this compilation of love poems, I thought to myself, love really is a many-flavored thing. And being Filipino, where food rivals religion in importance, I think that many can relate. When you are in-love for the very first time, love hits you as sweet, sometimes puke-inducingly sweet, the kind even sweet-toothed people shy away from. At times, it can be salty too, especially after a recent fight, where your mouth swallows not only buckets of tears, but also oodles of snot from dramatic bouts of crying only soap opera stars can rival. And then there’s sour–the green, bile-like taste left in your mouth after catching your beloved twisting his neck over the cutie in the next table. And when love is finally lost, it leaves an undeniably, no-matter-how-many-times-you-brush, bitter taste in your mouth.But hey, that’s love for you…throw in everything you’ve got and you get the most wonderful,interesting, vile, exotic, pungent,unforgettable flavors. And what is life without its flavors?


Lost (inspired by Dali)

How has time melted between the spaces of my hands?
The same ones that used to hold on to yours?

Have I taken too much of time’s time? 

Have I given you too much space?

I thought if I were still, you’d come running back…

But time doesn’t turn back

And neither did you..

Now both of you are lost to me.

Finally Sure

I used to be happy

With anything that

Might resemble affection

Like arid grass

Thirsting for even

The slightest hint of rain
I was starved

Begging for a morsel

A kernel of care

A bite of affirmation

I’d run to anyone

Who’d turn his head for me.
It was shameful

I admit that oftentimes,

I felt foolish, having to dissect

A simple text 

Interpreting it 

A million and one ways
But when you came along

Your love drenched me

So that I’d never have to

Be thirsty again

Never have to second-guess

Or interpret your intentions
You’ve made it very clear

That I am on your mind

In your heart

And yes, 

I am so blessed 

To be sure of this. 

Again and Again

I am in this time loop

Constantly re-living the worst and best day of my life.

With you, walking in your crisp white clothes

Barefoot as the soft grass tickles your toes

And the sun showering your glowing face

 with kisses

And for a split second, you turn around

Searching the crowd for my face

And you find me–

My eyes, lingering, longing, brimming with unshed tears

And you smile in a weird, beautiful kind of way.

I blow kisses and gesture for you to move on. 

You take a deep breath, take a last step forward and take her hand in yours. 

This scene replays over and over and over in my head…

But there is no doubt that I would always choose your happy ending over mine. 

Third Wheel

I’m excusing myself from this table

Because it feels like I’m intruding

Into a private conversation.

While I made the introduction, 

I have come to the realization

That this was a dinner meant 

For a party of two. 
It’s useless to interject

Because I can not be funnier

Or wittier

Or more interesting

Than this woman who’s ability

To look bored and pout

Has held you spellbound.
I am walking away now

Just call me when you wake up..

Or don’t. 

Because by the time you realize

That this talking mannequin 

Has moved on to other interests, 

I would have moved on as well. 

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