Tuesday, February 14, 2006
To My One and Only
MY WIFE ARLAINE, teasing as ever, asked me yesterday if I have anything romantically surprising for her today. Lemme see, I winked. Last year, we spent our Valentine's Day trying to steer clear from the stampede of lovers out for a candle-lit dinner. So we deemed it more spectacular to hie off at the sidewalk near the Fuente Osmeña park. There, she could only chuckle as she watched me wolfing down a burpful of balut, my lips sluicing vinegar and salt. Less costly, less cliche.
Today, I risk getting a frown from her as I resort to going back to the basic, setting out to bring her a bouquet of orange and purple mums and a box of heart-shaped chocolates in motley colors. Trite, the mother of my two sons will tell me. But, as I'll retort with yet another wink, I know she'd hum along when I'll breeze through bits of a hackneyed song: The fundamental things apply as time goes by...
And I will tell her, too, the words still hold true out of this first poem I wrote for her six years ago:
MUSING MY ONE TRUE POEM
Unless you come into me,
I have only the heart
of a blank page. The beat
of metaphors tapping limp as the feet
of rain in the desert. The wreath
of smoke out of mirrors. The breath
of me disfigured of speech, spitting
shards or forking the words like a snake
from the pit of my tongue.
Until my touch becomes your second skin,
nothing can break you open or spurt
the seed of my silence into fruiting
the phrases only bees
and worms embrace. In the absence of words.
In the scent of flowers. In the flesh
of dreams where the dead can
teach me: To read with all ears the dance
of the shovel in a patch of paper
where a gardener burns the weeds
and a gravedigger whistles until
I can fill all that's hollow
and come into you.