Today, Florentino puts a mouthful of papers,
of letters, his fingers pushing them down,
peripheral vision tearing up, miserable face, miserable act.
Today, Florentino chews his own letters,
chokes on his own words, whitewashed, white lies,
romantacised, chiseled love, refined words, aged wine.
Tonight, Florentino dips a finger in ink, swims,
moves a leisurely leisure. No words, just lines,
little finger, swaying circles,
a curve here, there, a twist, a turn,
a circle, misshaped, misfit, a crooked rhythm.
Tonight, Florentino puts his face upon paper,
rests his face upon lamp’s lap, warm glow, warm face,
warm light, warm forest face, evening dusk, evening ends,
tearing eyes, tearing papers.
Florentino chokes for his unloved love letters.
Tonight, Florentino weeps, in bullock cart’s rhythm,
heart sobbing in bulls’ bells’ swinging motion,
face falling in face-cupping palm-hands, hair-pulling hands.
Sniffs, snobs. Life’s music — God hums, oh, Florentino,
oh, Florentino, He hums while Florentino writes another love letter.
Neal Ym (Phalguni Y)