Chicago, city life, Fort Bonifacio, Glorietta, Huseng Sisiw, Ibong Adarna, identity, immigration, José de la Cruz, K1 Visa, long-distance love, Makati, Mexicali, Philippines, Ray Price, Serendra, US Embassy
I walk down the familiar streets
waiting for an unfamiliar feeling.
A restaurant I loved from
the other side of town
and reinstated in the menu
my favorite dish that
they had stopped serving
I remember that it broke my heart.
for me on the other side of the world
while I trace a daily pattern
across the same cities
along the same highways
where fashion billboards change
more punctually than the trees
and buildings in construction
get a little bit more finished each day
while I am the same.
Same girl waiting but not waiting
to leave this place
not because I am miserable here,
but because my future is with you.
It feels like circles,
the commute from home to work and back,
with short stops at the old bookstore
or some café to write,
but the sky is different each day.
Same girl waiting and not waiting
for my passport to be stamped
with freedom to be where you are.
Until then I am stuck here,
a rare bird that’s been told
it’s not yet time to fly,
these sleepy streets
and the ever-changing sky
with virgin oceanfronts as its bars.
But my beautiful prison
is not a prison,
to the part of me
that was once at home
in redemptive self-love
the part that had a plan
of what to do
and how to live
in case I never met you.
There’s enough here to love, still.
“Streets of Amsterdam” by photographer Oliver Astrologo