hot-biatch

The Last Poem I Will Write for You

Translation of
Ang Huling Tula na Isusulat Ko Para Sa’yo by Juan Miguel Severo

(Translated by: Francis Cesar Terrado)

This will be the last poem I will ever write

           for you;

           I promise.

And yes, I don’t know how long it would be,

           Or if it would fit in one piece;

How many pages, how many minutes it would take

           So it’s possible that I won’t memorize it immediately, but I promise,

This will be the last poem I will ever write

           for you.

           I swear,

Even if it takes me all night,

           I won’t sleep a wink;

I will use up every word

that might possibly rhyme

with your name, or whatever I called you.

Love, Darling, Baby, Babe, Bae, Mine, Sweetie, Honey, Sugar, Cupcake,

Angel, Imp, Beau, Boo, Hot Stuff, Biatch,

           What else?

I don’t care if it takes a million stanzas,

           But I can’t just let these words continue to live inside of me,

So I swear, this will be the last poem I will ever write

           for you.

I will start at the very beginning;

           At how you smiled at me and asked me where I lived.

You didn’t mind the cobwebs on my wall,

           Didn’t balk at the cockroach that suddenly appeared when you visited,

But you also didn’t look at the books that lay beside my bed,

also asleep, and back then my only companions.

I will start at the very beginning,

           At how you hugged me when I told you I love you;

At how you kissed my forehead and said, “I treasure you,”

           And, the fool that I was,

I was elated because I hadn’t yet realized that I didn’t want to be treasured.  

I don’t want to be treasured.

I am not an antique mirror that you’ve owned for years,

           that you only look at to remind yourself that you’re beautiful.

I don’t want to be treasured.

I am not your cellphone that you only take out of your pocket when you need a solution

to whatever your loss of connection

to your world that has become so vast to give you any more attention.

I don’t want to be treasured.

I am not some necklace that you only wear to upper-class occasions,

           in situations when you feel incomplete,

           to be put back inside a box when you go to bed at night, for fear that my embrace may suffocate you in your sleep,

           or to be put back in a box in a corner of your closet for fear that I might be stolen by others.

I don’t want to be treasured.

What I want is to be loved. What I need is to be loved.

           I need you to love me like your morning coffee:

Accepting the bitter and the sweet; needed for warmth but not tossed aside for growing cold.

           I need you to love me like your own office:

Knowing by heart which does what; knowing by heart where something is tucked away,

           Knowing by heart my hidden blades, intent, filth, secrets.

           Blades. Intent. Filth. Secrets.

I need you to love me like your pillow at night:

           Your pillow that you embrace in the cold, you lean to in spite of the heat; and you whisper your secret dreams to.

I don’t want to be treasured; what I want is to be loved.

What I need is to be loved.

And I used to write just to make you love me.

So forgive me, but I will write until I’ve used up all the words that might possibly rhyme with your name.

Forgive me, but I will write for you to forgive me,

Because someone once told me

           that a person who does not forgive will never be able to write.

So my Love, this time —

           on this last time that I will write you a poem —

let’s make a pact:

           I will forgive you but you must forgive me, too.

Forgive me for crying

and I will forgive you for not shedding a tear.

Forgive me for chattering,

           and I will forgive you for not saying a word.

Forgive me for not leaving,

           and I will forgive you for not staying.

Forgive me for not forgetting you,

           and I will forgive you for not choosing me.

Love, let’s make a pact:

           I will forgive you but you must forgive me, too.

Forgive me for not letting go,

           and I will forgive you for not holding on;

Forgive me for not pulling away,

           and I will forgive you for not getting too close;

Forgive me for not giving up,

           and I will forgive you for not taking a chance;

And forgive me for not hating you,

           And I will forgive you for not loving me.

Love, let’s make a pact:

           I will forgive you but you must forgive me, too.

So I can at last finish this poem that has lived here too long.

           And forgive me if it ends up too lengthy,

           and if the words are too flowery, but I swear:

this is the last one. The last one. The last one.  The last one.

I will start again at the very beginning, at how you smiled at me and asked me where I lived.

I will start again at the very beginning, at how you smiled at me.

I will start again at the very beginning.

I will start again.

This is the last poem I will write for you — no, that’s not right.

This is the last poem I have written about you:

“I love you,

           and I have nothing left to give.”