As far as the horizon, I would dream
of the sun caressing water. I think,
you harbor the sea in your hair—from where,
I only hope from places we call home.
When you are a thousand miles off, I drown
in your loss, in what could have been water.
Now, we are at shores unknown—here, where, still,
in the end, the sea caresses the sun.
To be with you is not to hear the flight
of seagulls across regions, nor it is
to remember brine at coasts where we met.
A point is inked on paper, home is not
a monument—everywhere, I will find
the sun and the sea. It is not to stay.
Under the afternoon
Sun, you picked up words from
Pages sewn together
By fingers looking for
love. A touch of your skin,
A coin in hand, you take
My heart from the market.
You curl my hair beneath a golden peineta
you stole from the marketplace, risking a hundred
lashes and angry hermanas for my delight.
The scent of ilang-ilang caresses, hints
of lime, mist from the window.
A palm touches
my nape. Smooth as petal,
you say. Braids fall
to my shoulder, strands thrill
bare skin. Fingers
the mangoes you ate for merienda,
the nectar that lingers from
your lips? Now in my tongue.
As the sun sets, whispers
become prayers and prayers
Rayji de Guia is a member of UP Writers Club. Her writing can be found in DANAS: mga pag-aakda ng babae ngayon (Gantala Press), SCUM Magazine, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and The Literary Apprentice (Balangiga Press). She resides in an eighty-year-old ancestral house in Maragondon, Cavite with her family and some ghosts.