dasmariñas, '08

Dasmarinas, ’08

dasmariñas,
where the air is thicker,
the atmosphere heavier than what’s carried
by imus and bacoor.
i vividly remember

the smell of sandwich after school
and youthful laughter.
a denser crowd, background projections
in their starch-white uniforms:
the college kids in checkered shirts,
as coffee brews in styrofoam,
the taste of cigarettes on lips,
deceptive hints of mint.

i loved the bridges and highways, too,
my feet in air suspended, my shoes
unworthy of such little shrines.
‘awaken, my bare feet!’ i would whisper,
my meagre soul,
innocent, unbroken, unsold.

when was the last time i have appreciated smiles?
smiles,
by lips, by eyes…
my eyes liked the purple flower in her shirt, as well,
and she knows i do. i can tell.
the reddest lipstick compliments the spell. i wonder…
must girls as young be wearing so much red?

a million cities overpass the world, and
a million city overpasses dot the world,
but every single one
i walked on have become
a pretty sea of faces, an ocean of chatter—
where one starts and one ends does not matter.

dasmariñas,
perhaps you have forgotten i once dared walk
into your dark (the streetlamps warmly greeting me).
perhaps you have forgotten i once walked and
held hands with another, your heart explored.

have you forgotten our laughter, i wonder?
were we mere little explosions,
little seconds of delight,
quick to ignite and quick to fizzle?
‘awaken, my bare feet!’ i would whisper,

only to realize

it’s not only your streets
that could hear me no more.

— A. P.

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