Sunday, November 7, 2010

my house

in manila
there is a building
built for an international festival
by the over zealous wife of a dictator

in their haste, they
built too fast
sealing bodies of builders
in the too-wet foundation of the edifice

now, the building lies empty
ignored, forgotten
a tomb commemorating
the hubris of megalomaniacs

in my city where
tech boom meets econo-bust
whole neighborhoods are built
in weeks

they look prim, proper, perfectly
middle class. humming with the rhythms
of aspiration and need.
only during harsh weather

do their owners listen carefully
to the paper-thin walls
and the winds threatening to pull up
the homes from the earth

when the two towers fell
and they took away the rubble
what was left was a mammoth of a

whole structures
never stand
without deep roots
routes to strength and certainty

but digging is hard; it takes
strong backs, persistence
sometimes we can guess map what veins of dirt we will hit
but mostly, everything is a surprise

sand, rock, loam, old refrigerators
brick, shale, the skeleton of a long-lost possom
gas pockets, pipes, geysers,

the deeper we dig those holes
the stronger the house becomes
but the more we must unearth
the more secrets and surprises we must witness

for with height comes depth
just like how we don't listen through the chatter
but the strongest voices are borne
out of the stillest silence

so is the gentlest love
borne sometimes from solitude
or the ripest fruit
borne from rot and decay

my house, so loyal, so warm
has had cracks in its walls from the day
i moved in
the foundation sits on sand

in this house, though, i have built a home
with tenderness and thought
that has weathered many storms
i take those cracks as testament

to the hope i hold in my heart
and now, i must dig deep
to build, to rebuild, to withstand the ever-coming wind
the digging can be rough

lasting until the wee hours
full of tears and whispered screams
refuse of the past
that can still bear us fruit

i see those suburban houses
prim and sweet; sometimes
they seem to be perfect
but i know

i would rather get my hands dirty
in the soil beneath my feet
to build and rebuild with purpose
than watch perceived perfection

blow away with the slightest
breeze; my house
will always be strong
digging deep

into the depths of the soul


kim said...

absolutely amazing on so, so many levels.

Anonymous said...

this is incredible, kt.

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