I saw the reflection of you in my morning cup
looking like me. Oh Narcissus, our love of peering
at ourselves is only an illusion. Do not be afraid
of the edges nor the ripples in the water, it gives us
character. At least we don’t have to say anything,
if only to look, to see you, traverse the waves.
Today was a day for stories.
We were on the grass collecting
our trash and we floated on
airs of small talk compounded by
memory seeping out like flotsam.
but you might as well be dead
by the time the first avowal is made.
so we hush hush,
like the breeze through the grass,
comforting ourselves through tales
in which we are the ambiguous and confused
heroes of our generation.
You are not one to be written down, so futile the attempt
to render one like fruit into a canvas in order to fill, to fill
the empty spaces, but I have to try.
Something about the way your eyes
light up in the dark iris of the night like fireflies.
But ahh I am botching this, I cannot capture it.
Today I dreamt you were inside the car with me
And I imagined you behind me, in the car,
Touching my shoulder, sliding your warm body
Against mine.Sublime. But you weren’t there.
Only the gargantuan idea of you. And yet,
the ideas of me that I left in that other country
aren’t with you either. A fair game.
And I was uneven in my attempt to brush your hair
within the contours of the paper, the colour
was outside of the lines. I made public displays
of affectation with your hands, the hands that combed
their way through my imagination, raking it.
So I sat on dreaming of unspoken things,
and I dared not speak, because words tire.
Teach me something poetry. Teach me never to lie
Down with pen but with a body. What is the difference?
And when I finally spoke I said all the wrong things,
juvenile my choice to express the incommunicable
with such jumping syllables, a soliloquy
you, Narcissus, were forced to hear.
Poet’s Bio: Angela Gabrielle Fabunan graduated from Bowdoin College and attended the University of the Philippines MA Creative Writing for a time. In 2016, she was awarded the Third Prize for Poetry from the Carlos Palanca Memorial Foundation. She is an alumnus of UP Writers Club.