[…]


Eileen Tabios

My Impossibility of Languor

(i)
The impossibility of languor—

“where are you today?”—

Driftwood revealing a complexion of moonshine—

Peach sundering around a malignant pit—

Looking into the eyes of an ecstatic girl and seeing Antarctica throw emerald spears that raise
new continents in the Pacific—

Satori in the men’s bathroom—

This very second, where are you?

Reacting to the world with postal dead letters—

Four light bulbs stuffed with hair (“Hairitage,” sculpture by Michael Arceaga)—

Sinigang soup from fish bones and tamarind—

The equivalent of an elegy—

Knowing life contains no “continuity girls”—

Here are lies, all well-intentioned—

(ii)
I am the poet yearning to meet the songs
I should have learned
Before writing the first word

Until then, my language relies on surface

The fate I choose is not to make
Linguistic surface synonymous with the non-transformative
And what is not Beauty
And what is never compassionate

Another mistake I hope to avoid
Is to believe my life is a cinema—

     Although I like to open her saxophone case
     To see its interior of cobalt velvet
     Of course, my finger also stretches
     Towards the shimmering surface

I am too old to live in my mind

The mirages I see are always heavier than space
But there is a reason
Why my flesh aches
For a stranger’s stray touch

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