Two navels as one

Photo by Ryla Tuazon/THE FLAME

Pastel skies were visible outside my room.

The air I breathed inside the constraints of these four walls

Was shared by four people I barely knew.


We exchange greetings in the morning as we depart,

and state our dreams over dinner,

Yet we still walk softly around each other at night,

Walking through the shadows of our night light.


My head throbbed, and my pulse weakened.

I stared at the empty ceiling as tears traced down through my linens.

The luxury of weeping is impossible, for I do not live alone.

I heeded myself by calling her, hoping she knew what was wrong with me.


“Anak, bakit?”


Her frantic breathing was in my ears,

I pretended not to hear her worry as I suppressed my pain, 

pretending it was the frequency caused by our distance.

I lied and said yes when she asked if I had someone around.


My ragged breathing circulated inside the dark room.

My senses were in shambles; my insides were twisting. 

It was the result of impending meals, 

And my hurt ego from admitting that I still need my mother.


I refused the pity of acquaintances and friends, their hands and mine, too. 

I only wanted hers. It was that pain of finding a substitute 

for an incomparable being.


We were bound from the moment of my first agony.

Her pain was my existence; she was the cure for my pain.

We were two frequencies oscillating from yearning 

and cursing each other. In joy and suffering, 

yesterday and today, we were one. F

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