Sono solo

There are a myriad of ways one can feel alone.

Solitude is generally regarded as a positive feeling. It is to have a calm and content disposition towards being alone.

Abandonment, though still synonymous with the connotation of being alone, denotes that one does not choose to be alone, but is instead left with no other choice but to be with one’s company because no one else wants to stay.

Alone together is a paradox. Two words juxtaposed, in opposition against each other, but also in perfect harmony when brought together. To be with someone, but also in disconnect with the rest of the populace. To have a misguiding feeling that there can be, there will be, and there are no other people except the two who are, alone, together.

Alone together is an illusion. A mirage, if I may. That in a utopian setting, you and your significant other, do not affect anybody else with your being together. And usually, (and if I have the liberty of expanding my hyperbole to always), the case is the opposite. You affect other people. And he affects other people. You being together, affects other people. Be it in a positive way, where they root for you, or be it in a negative way, where they find so many faults in your being together.

When the magic, or the perseverance, or whatever it is that keeps couples together, expire, one has to be brave enough to say that, being alone together isn’t working out anymore. That juxtaposed word “together” has overstayed its welcome. And where there was a couple who was alone together, now there are only two individuals who are, alone.

It is all fine, and well, and good, up to that point she goes to a restaurant and realizes that eating alone, she ordered too much. It is all fine, and well, and good, up to that point he realizes coming home early doesn’t bring the same comfort anymore because no one is waiting for him. It is all fine, and well, and good until they both realize that when they broke being alone together to be alone, they left parts of each other with each other, and they are actually never alone, and they are actually not together anymore.



Darsi Rubino

Love. I shall never speak of love again
while there is still a pile of dirty clothes
waiting to be saved by the washing machine,
while the floor reeks of dusts, and dried pieces
of food waiting for the broom and the mop
to clean them up. For all I know love
could be waking up every morning
to wash the dishes from last night’s dinner
and then cooking breakfast for my father
after two hours of sleep.
I will never be sure until I’ve exacted
the salt in his sunny side up.
He sometimes prefer raw egg
on warm rice with a hint of disgust
for the fish stew that is sourly exaggerated.

Love, love can never be more than sleeping 8 hours,
nowadays. When ‘she’ is there, imagined or actually there,
because warmth mean different thoughts in two cold skins.

Truth is, I forgot what love is.

I forgot who I was and who you were.

I don’t want to remember.

I forgot who you were.

I considered you dead.
You were ghost born out of longing
that already left and will never come back,
but at last, I shall no longer be hunted.
You crossed towards the lights,
when I realized and decided
that you already did.

My father is a widow. And I must be the son
who keeps him well. Love is when I folded
my dreams to write poetry and packed them
in a bag labeled ‘Home’, along with books,
an old pen, a broken laptop,
and took them all home to take care
of my old man. But I shall never speak
of love again because I used to spell it
with your name. Love is an old term
for feeling your hair on my fingers,
I brushed believing that time
is a generous bastard
and distance is a faithful friend.

I can no longer trace the lines
in my palm to write new things.

You’re already dead.

To hell with you and the lips
where dreams used to flow from.
To hell with the breast from which I suckle
creativity and the next lines to writh poetry from.
Drag the person who I was
when you were yet the story I always wrote,
with you. Let us stop here, I might
recite again the songs
I wrote on the walls of your thighs.

I am a good son, I know I could be
good at anything but never in being yours.

I am a good uncle to my nephews.
I figured you will never be their good in-law.

I realized that I could trade
our two years for a 10-minute chase
with plastic swords and skateboards
and laughter induced bath times with Czar and Seth.

It was all good until you went on an honesty galore
in scarce text messages and calls:
“I love you. I met this guy.”
“I love you. We spent time with each other a lot.”
“I love you. I slept with him last night.”
“I love you. His mother is not sick.”
“I still love you. His problems are lighter than yours.”
“I think I still love you. He’s not complicated”
“I think I still love Oh My God! He’s here.”

Nostalgia, will never be a word
until I’ve finished the grocery list
and paid the bills.

Nostalgia, I only go out ocassionally
so as not to be said as already dead.
Nostalgia, I am now indifferent to it.

Oh! If I go on you will be an epic.

A Brief History of Body Parts

Darsi Rubino

Six years ago, these hands wrote your name on pages
after blank pages then colored it with the brightest fireworks
of January first and February fourteenth; like a quark soup
of admiration brewing a new artificial universe of bliss
then a sudden Big Bang and falling for a cloudless night
when the stars are out to trace lines in the sky to form
your face as the newest constellation along with metaphors
equivalent to “Can you be my girlfriend?” and “Yes, I love you too.”

Five years ago, these lips whispered Shakespeare’s love sonnets
within shared breaths where inhales and exhales rhymed;
when at every exchange of air from hope filled lungs
our tongues were mutual in longing for each other’s that tasted
like wines aged to serve one and one purpose only – to salivate
sacred liquors that flowed from breasts of euphoric gods.
This skin was yours to conquer with satin soft touches,
where surrenders were automatic; where losing was a glorious resolve.

Four years ago, these eyes wondered in awe at the morning light
caught in your snow white cheeks until your theatre curtain eyelids
open up to another day dreaming in a sunrise warmed bed
of promises of thirty-minute forever’s and eternal first times.
These feet wandered about the seven wonders of your hips,
the wake after the earthquake that destroyed
five Catholic churches in an apartment for one;
the plains where harvests of “You are my everything” sprouted
as plentiful as the abundance of what was once Fertile Crescent’s.

Three years ago, these arms held on to a thin thread trust and these palms
felt how brittle honesty can be when distance didn’t mean peace
like the white walls in my mother’s hospital room but only silences
after questions patterned to “Hoy! Naunsa na ka diha?” and time
bound assurances, “Paabot lang; mahuman lang ni nga problema
magpuyo na ko diha. Pramis!” and other frets frolicking about the four corners
of what was once we called home, with the cracks on its foundations
multiplied by infidelity born out of “I can no longer stand missing you
every day anymore.” On your other side of our world, the wallpapers
were peeling off while your room was emptied to welcome a new pseudo
infinite; painting the walls with the colours of a name that wasn’t of mine.

Two years ago, this liver had to survive long and multiple
episodes of misery induced alcohol intakes, drinking the past
as if every shot were one by one the strands of your hair
that were soft with nostalgia and black as the cruelty of fate.
These kidneys suffered sleepless days to work sadness off,
this stomach thinned from gastric juices over a diet bordering
to an ulcer of you and anticipated slow suicide over hunger
while waiting on these knees that fell hard to the ground
at every begging for a miracle that you’ll come back,
and this head, in the midst of everything, went mad!

One year ago, these hands were just hands without a reason
or a name to embellish except to write “bitch, you left me
when I needed you most.” These lips dried out from screaming
“Dili ko bitter!” and “Kulcob! Kulcob mong tanan!”
These eyes saw only sepia colored sheets on cold lonely beds
and greyed out apartment walls with no frames to hang,
with no color to match but only blues and solitude. This right foot
walked towards Polomolok while the left I have to pull out
from a grave with your name on the niche.

Now these hands just wrote this poem.
These kidneys, liver, stomach and knees are all doing fine.
And this head, this mind, knows very well that the dead
is supposed to remain dead

and that you

[in time and space]

the previous universe,

is just and ever changing feeling.