Those cartridges that are empty
are golden like the sunlight
and the highlights of his hair.
that gold like he loved the petals
of the flowering daffodils gleaming
in the dawn with auric splendor.
are scattered like seeds of loss,
two cold bodies of men, oblivious
to the blood that seeps
over the ground
ang dugong didila
sa mga tipak,
ang magiging bitak
I murmur an apology to the skull in my hand,
no lighter than a handful of pesos.
The curve of its beak winds into a low note,
a soulful whistle that carries me to a graveyard
where I writhe under the soil.
Schoolboys place me on the end of a twig,
confines me in a box with a spider.
I am no lighter than an eyelash on the cheek
of a wailing daughter, dead mother, dead father
dead everyone, this is a festival of carcasses
Where in the sky forms a beak of its own,
it raises its head to hammer its mouth back down.
long, long serpent slithers
close with his male human
lovers wrapped in each other’s
skins but the aswang does not
envy a small bit—her lips occupied
with her diwata’s own pair
a vision of brown and ethereal
whiteness beside the tree that expels
a sigh of contentment as its exposed
roots clutches close its mermaid sweetheart
underneath these couples grow a grass—green
as the Eden’s but holy only to us.