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Home of my muse
I used to call you,
the personal Paradise
of the half of my heart
that knew I would
never belong
never really be at home
no matter how many sunrises
I witness sitting under
your palm trees,
no matter how many hours
I spend staring at
your mesmerizing fountains
pulling literary masterpieces
out of my soul like thorns
with trembling fingers
and laying them on the table
all bloodied and painfully free,
no matter how many nights
or rain showers catch me
encased in your glass walls
celebrating life through tears,
angry conversation, or
a tortured wait
for the phone to ring.
There was something about
your beauty that always
felt foreign to me.
You were more of a state of mind
than a place where taxicabs
stop even after midnight.
I drank your coffee when
all I really wanted
to imbibe was your spirit,
so intricate and so alive.
I sought your stars
and your crowd of faces,
tried on your shoes
though I could never
buy any of them
and learned all I could
about your silences,
but I was always careful
to leave you exactly
the way I found you,
as if you were merely
a dream I was borrowing.

It seems to me all my memories
of you are mixed up with
some part of my identity
that was under repair.
You were a symbol,
I understand now: a metaphor
for the journey I take
to get intimate with myself.

It is a ripe age of night,
right now,
upon your travertine walks,
while here, where I am,
the light is lustrous
and edged in bright sapphire.
The other half of my heart
that I carried with me
insists you are somewhere
I can return to,
and trusts that you will
remember me
when I do.

“Greenbelt Makati 2” by photographer Alessio Loddo


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