a worthwhile sin (NYC 2000)

i met you one night and my whole life
changed, in a blink of an eye blind
i could not, just could not remain the same
impassive, disenchanted, disemboweled within
my soul in desperate need of
a worthwhile sin
awakening the ghost
of the woman i once was,
a specter of the soul that breathed
its final gasp, and for a brief
moment, i’m home
at last

club 101 (NYC 2000)

the trumpeter rules with his jazz melodies
and my heart weeps with each note
it’s raw and needy and plucks at each heart
string pulled so tight it could almost break
and sever
our ties
but the trumpeter still rules in the darkness
of Club 101 and we sit
and laugh and drink beers like fish
listening to the blues
coming from
lonely hearts.

i bet on black

i bet on black
and almost lost it all
never seeing how attached i was to the outcome
until i began to fall

into the abyss of your despair,
your plans, and your deceit
too late for me to climb out and save myself
instead, you made me complicit

to the plans you made
for your expiration date
so when the day finally came
all we could do was wait

but I couldn’t wait anymore
I had to bet on red
before the sun rose and set
before you’d do the things you said

i hope you’re happy now
you even got to say the last word
thank you for showing me, in the end,
who and what you really were.

how do you do it?

how do you keep on going
when the world is falling apart,
when your answer to the question
“red or blue?” determines if you’re worth it…
or not?

how do you turn away
from the raw pain in people’s eyes
denied their right to live, to love, to be-
all because others believe
in the lies?

how do you go about your day
knowing death is just a sound-byte away
a video feed blasted to the world-
a woman’s last minutes
on display?

how do you do it?
i want to know
how do you keep on going
when there’s no other place
for us to go?

halfway across the world

I wish I knew what to do,
how to help you in any way
But I’m helpless from where I sit
halfway across the world

I’m sorry for being callus, for saying
maybe you could do this or that
for that wasn’t what you needed to hear from me
halfway across the world

A thousand friends on Facebook, you say
and not one of them could lend a helping hand
I wish I could do more than just listen to you cry
halfway across the world.

the man who got away

i don’t think of you as much as I should
but on this day, i do.
for i remember the one christmas we spent together
my brothers and me sitting in the back seat and you

i remember driving around the city in your mercedes
when you said you had to hand out the gifts
to the public servants who waited on street corners
sacks of rice in the trunk and stacks of hundred peso bills

i remember the smiles of gratitude on their faces,
of how proud i felt being your daughter then
you were the man i looked up to so much
how i wished we could do that all over again

but that was the only christmas we ever spent together
and the memories that remain are now so few
like the sound of your laughter and the sight of your smile
and how my whole world revolved around you.

merry christmas, daddy

flower

i love this flower,
the little girl said
as she plucked the red bloom
from its green stem.

i think it’s just so pretty,
she continued happily,
holding up the little red flower
for everyone to see

before tossing it to the ground,
and skipping happily away
it’s beauty suddenly forgotten,
never meant to stay.

Steel Your Heart

Steel your heart
for these are hard times
Don’t close your eyes,
don’t forget their crimes

For things are no longer
what they seem,
And maybe they never were,
all of us lost in a dream,

lulled into complacency
as evil festered, undeterred,
the lines between good and evil
long ago blurred

So steel your heart
but don’t close your eyes,
know your truth–
don’t get lost in their lies

We’ve Run Out of Kindness

we’ve run out of kindness
and compassion somehow
the world just seems
too distracted and enraged
no one can tell the light
from the shadows anymore,
most of us feeling
alone and betrayed

what is there
to live for each day
when all of us struggle
to find a bit of good
in everyone we meet
everywhere we go,
all of us just wanting
to be seen and be understood?