Dolly Ann Mina

From a Different Color

It was probably his eyes?

Or the way we were magnetized?

Keeping our hands at the back,

You kept on leaving traces of yourself, like crumbs

or atoms, making me miserable.

I had struggled for quite some time.

For the truth shall never be said.

A whisper, a hush

and slight hand brush.

On clothes, arms, hair, and back.

Your deception and depiction were too smooth,

I painted you as my fidus Achates,

Although I was never really it.

I kept on telling myself:

It’s never true, it’ll never be true.

That you’ll be able to love me too.

You’ve kept me wondering, but I knew.

There is another man, loving you too.

And so, I resolved to keep my mouth shut.

Don’t tell anything about the imagined trysts,

or how you are aware it was probably true.

The coffee, the messages, and you.

And so I resolved to forget you.

To keep these memories in a box,

where no one knows where the key is.

Enough is enough,

We have to be true to ourselves.

I have loved you from a far,

Although I know I was just another color

in the spectrum, someone you won’t probably love at all.

I know, I couldn’t also believe I would fall

for someone who loves two colors.

Writing Essays

These have been hard for us, too.

My ears are ringing as I listen to lectures.

He has his Dr. Dre earphones,

mine has a scotch tape wrapped near the speaker,

as if begging for me to stop talking.

She is sitting on a 3k chair, with her 70k Mac.

I kept telling the children who smelled like sun

to get off of my back.

Fortunate for Zoom’s virtual background,

but I was hoping that I won’t need it anymore.

Having the urge to raise my hand,

I have no choice, but to be kept muted.

For they will hear the roosters answering the questions,

and the neighbors playing Mahjong.

“Water’s gone again!” I heard them shouting.

It has been three days. How do we poo??

I won’t tell you.

Eighteen units and four essays later,

I never turned on my camera again.

Spring Rolls

Your grandmother brought that plastic container of spring rolls

While you held onto that one liter of spiced vinegar

You would rather play during vacations,

You have just finished answering your modules with no one to help you

Your incessant shouting of ‘spring rolls for five pesos’ reminded you of how you hated being seen

by your classmates sitting inside their cars while they watch your favorite show on their Ipads.

But you are there, walking and selling, and crying and getting mad.

You’ve had times when you wanted to already turn your back.

But you know you can’t.

There’s still someone relying on you. You are just eight, and life hasn’t been so kind.

You could have been running and enjoying your childhood, 

yet here you are, dying to bring food to dine in.

And so you walked, and walked every weekend.

Drowning in the streets of another city, imagining the life you could have had, if only.

You were still eight,

But now you’ve truly tasted the world’s hate.