Ronald Baytan

(Manila / Philippines)

Threshold - Poem by Ronald Baytan

Between the terrible ease
Of promise and the flowering
Of regret, I must lay myself bare:
I have learned desire
Is a habit, a calling of flesh
And spirit to repeat
Presences, a need for
Of movements,
Of moments.

In my room, at the office,
Inside the mall, on the train
Home, I still wait for the inanities
Of your texts, for your promises
Of intimacy, remembering
Weeks ago, you changed
Your number and your lover
So that you may know
The secrets of other bodies.

But I shall tell you
The costs: I am alone
Here in my apartment
Learning to unlearn

The habit of your existence,
Repeating your absences—
Oh not because nothingness
Is being’s other self—
Because only one body
Is enough
In this faithless world:
One body, not ever our own,
Nor ever ours.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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