Tell Her Before

Tell her, 
before your alarm clock 
casts her into the oblivion 
of your dreams, 
before the night 
cocoons you into slumber too deep
to hold her ‘neath the moon.

Tell her, 
before your youth 
steals your attention 
with quadratic formulas 
and dates you’ll soon forget, 
before maturity 
has ambitions, 
bills and retirement plans 
as priorities.

Tell her, 
that the day the stars 
were baptized in her tears,
they bore the night sky 
as their cross, 
made their pilgrimage 
across her irises
to be one amongst her pupils.

Tell her, 
she need not bathe
in Milky Way 
to accentuate her beauty. 
Glasses and curls 
can indeed be gorgeous.

But most importantly, 
be honest. 
Let her know that
whenever she exits the room, 
she vacuums out the air 
with her departure.

Let her know, 
that coherent sentences
are nigh impossible to construct 
in her presence;
that you feel 
the letters destruct 
into awkward silence
because THAT 
is just how speechless she makes you.

Tell her, 
that you miss her. 
Show her,
that you love her.

It’ll be more 
than the silence of my fears 
ever led me say.

They Were Right

If they told me
that I’d still love you
well after your frame 
would delineate your age 
less gracefully than you hoped for;
your skin, 
abused by life’s solar flares, 
would completely eclipse the glow 
within the pigment of your youth;
I probably would’ve ran away from you, 
far into your future self 
to tell you, 
for better or for worse, 
they were right.

For no sunset, 
can embezzle the radiance 
in your smile, 
the luster 
in your laughter 
that I’m still dazzled by.

are rendered useless
in your presence,
their shadows still question
the degree of relevance 
in light of you;
for no measurement 
can quantify my admiration
or adoration for you.

For your love, 
immutable through 
the vicissitudes of seasons 
we never planned to weather,
posed as the apex 
of timeless memories, 
of a priceless virtue
framed suitably 
within vows.

So if you, 
are ever to doubt 
my affection just know, 
that I was, 
that I am, 
and always will be 
in love with you.

Only Human

She has a switchblade
for a tongue on left days;
converts it into a
substitute for creamer
on right days
served ripe without reserve.

She’s been cursed
with a heart to love deeply
those who can’t;
to forgive deeper
those who won’t.

She’s been dressed
in more distress
than she can rehearse
how to heal in front of you.

She’s smiling
while her soul
continues to limp
on crutches.
Her ribcage
couldn’t protect her heart
from feeling so empty,
so exposed,
so vulnerable to trust
foreign hands not to fold
under the pressure
of a genuine friendship.

It’s not that she’s mean,
or sour,
nor any of its synonyms
for that matter but,
she too bleeds.
she chooses to show her calluses
from trying so hard
to gain your acceptance,
your attention,
your love.

she’s more human
than hero.
salvation is masked
in surrender.
Maybe she too
forgets how to fly

I Pray

I’ve been praying for you,
not like
the erratic inquiries
from ill prepared students
that float to AC ducts,
brewing inside of classrooms
preceding a
POP quiz,
rising like bargaining chips
wrapped in,
“Our Father,
which art in heaven,
I promise
to pass by the church
if you deliver me
from the valley
of these questions”
kind of prayers.

No, more like:
I can’t.
I won’t let you go
lest you bless me
with your presence
kind of prayers;
because until now
I’ve never been fixated
on the internal revenue
of a soul.
I figured,
everyone had a price
but you couldn’t be sold
by a “dashing smile,
a chiseled chest,
an obese wallet.”
I was drawn
to your independent dependence
on your Source of strength.

I’ve prayed
not to make you perfect
for me,
but to make me sufficient
in being your needs
and efficient
to satiate your desires.
I want to be converted
to your wishlist,
ever changing
through the decades
though it may be,
so I’ll always check off
on your requirements,
no matter which lifetime
we find ourselves in.

I prayed,
for the wisdom
to listen
to your fears,
your insecurities,
your worries;
then prayed for the knowledge
of how to prepare my hands
to fix what they can,
and bridge over the impossibilities
with You.

I prayed,
for the courage
to stand up for you
when you can’t;
the spine
to stand beside you
as my equal;
but more importantly
to bend my knees
to lift you up
when I’ve done all I can;
to know the difference
between failure
and surrender,
and may I never
be composed of the former.

They told me:
“Don’t touch,
what you can’t buy.”
So when I ask for your hand
you’ll already know my intentions.
I’m thinking long-term,
something akin
to eternity.

I’m hoping
you’ll say yes.
I’m praying
that our future
is synonymous
to His will
but if not,
may I be granted grace
to love
and honor you from afar,
and to not wish ill will
upon your lover.

May he love you
deep into your marrow.
May he kiss you
as if atonement
was only found
on the altar of your lips.
May he hold you
as his lifeline,
as if letting go
was a fate far worse
than damnation.

May he cherish
the bad inside jokes you keep,
for his smile.

May he adore
the doors you’ve closed
to the attention
of other men,
to solely crave
his affection.

May he inspire you
to whisper with God
before exchanging
shouts with the world.

May he know
that you could’ve had better,

Yet she chose you
in the solitude
of her closet,
on the road home
with dense
and drenched traffic,
in prayer meetings,
in study halls,
in church pews
and bathroom stalls.

She chose you,
with origami fingers folded,
upon calloused knees
as mine were for her but,
she chose you
to be an answer
to her prayers,
for a love
you probably bargained
with heaven
to receive but once.

A Quarter Past

It’s a quarter past
two sips of coffee
and her first thought is:
“Is it 5 yet???”

Friday mornings tend to
do that to you
when sitting on the cusp
of a potentially
exhilarating weekend.

She has a crush
dressed as Friday nights,
a lust
permed into Saturday’s
and offers the morning after
memories to pore over
for a millennium.

wanting to ask in words
what my facial expression
must’ve voiced instead she answers:
“Don’t be such a worry wort.
I’ll be back in the morning and
you’ll be asleep as always.”

If she only knew
that I only pretend to be
to avoid the arguments
poised to launch
off the scent of drinks
and foreign cologne she reeks of.

If she only knew,
I clench the covers
not because of the cold
that I’ve long stopped feeling
but to relish the warmth
she once provided
before these nights divided us.

So I reply,
“What’s the rush?
I’ve been told that
you only live once
and by God
if that’s the truth,
I’d like to spend
every waking moment
with you
til dawn do us part.”

It’s crazy
how your name for me conjugates
after every ship we board
for instance:
on Friendship
I was just a “brother” to you,
a bud, a pal
skillfully navigating
through “Friend Zone Abyss”
congested with high fives,
awkward hugs,
and greetings to friends
you’d pretend to forget my name to,
then offer patchwork phrases
in place of amends like:
“My bad back there.
You know I didn’t really
forget your name, right?”
I chuckled,
nodded in agreement
to forget who I was as well
and all was swell again.

For instance,
upon the Relationship
I was once
promoted to best friends,
your love,
your man,
your fiance I am today
but the person you’ve paved me into
only seems to service
the tires of excuses you tread over me
to believe we’re heading down
incompatible directions,
but the only misconception
I’ve perceived in the road
is the fork in your tongue.

So answer me this:
Do you still love me?
Between the smeared lipstick
and your anonymous text messages,
I’d say you’re half past forgiveness,
two sips to deuces and
is it 5 yet?
Because my patience
is just as impatient
to clock out…

They told me

They told me
that I could be anything,
so forgive me
for desiring to be
an ethereal body,
composed of stellar dust
enclosed to combust
within the nebulous clouds
of your eyes.
I admit,
I’ve been envious
of the way they scintillate 
when the sun
infects you with its charisma,
while I’m imploding
in the shade
to be the why to your smile,
your laughter.

When they told me
that I could be anything,
you were already taken
and I,
a lifetime too late to be yours.
I implore you
to understand,
if I come off as
just know that it’s hard to
find forms of frolic
without you.

I’ve dreamt volumes
of every known occupation
to man just to serve you better
than the runner ups to your love.
I was built,
generated to catalyze
every love story between us
in this life,
and every intermediary form in between.

So when they told me,
I could be anything:
I vowed
before the heavens,
the earth
and every season
that seasons this life with color,
to be faithfully yours
and no other.

Dedication: For the Both of Us

May this year
be enthralled by your laughter,
your felicity,
explicitly more exquisite
than the silver linings
of years past.

You may age fast
but live slowly,
wholly to banish regret.
May the grey
and white strands
you possess
be antonymous to life ebbing,
connections webbing.
So when they ask,
as they often do,
we’ll call it
the wisdom effect.

May you hug,
envelope the leased minutes
down to the last
second chances
to accept apologies,
forgive the agonies
and rewrite the lefts
that led to more remorse
you never planned
to contort to.

Tell someone
they’re right.
Tell someone
they’re strong.
Admit that sometimes,
you’ll probably be wrong,
you might mistakes,
you just might let someone down,
but be human enough
to accept our imperfections.

May this year find you,
confronting fears,
transforming tears
into years saved
from complacency.

May it find you,
loving enemies,
releasing grudges
back from the swamp
they came from.
Be the lily
thriving in the midst
of morbid events.

Most of all,
may it find you
wearing the best edition yet
of yourself.
Being you
will always be in style,
regardless the season.