Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Don't They Say It's Valentine's Day?

WHAT'S LOVE IF it's not something to die or kill for?

On a day like this, when the air is suffused with sweetness and light while the call of commercialism whittles down the wilderness of the heart to a cozy cage of sentiments, passion is often given a short shrift. As if it were devoid of violence out of a wrenching away from the self-centered zone of comfort. As if its beauty and tenderness weren't always threatened by danger or pain and fear of losing.

Methinks nothing's worth loving unless it spawns inside us a ruthlessness to be reckless in pursuit of our private Eden. Yes, not until it smolders enough to ignite in us a purging compulsion to endure burning. Ah, that feeling of being killed softly. Something that most love songs gloss over, sad to say.

Against the overchewed and junk-food notions of romance, here's my poem slightly revised since its publication at the Sunday Inquirer Magazine (August 27, 2000) :


I'm at your banquet because wolves
are invited, hoping your heart
is on the plate.

A toast startles you. As if stars,
falling, shattered the wine glass
you're holding.

I'll wash with the wine your bloodied
hand until your eyes suffice
to drown me.

You say the dishes are almost cold.
I reply with a burp. Suddenly,
the knife drops.

A rodent slurps on my vomit. All I care
of etiquette is when hunger devours
the heartbeat.

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