TIME can’t even tell

when the last drop of sound was heard

in this dingy cobweb dwelling.

Been buried beneath

layers of dust and soot

when the noise consumed the


of this room filled with forgotten entities.

As he picked me up

to wipe the dirt off of me,

he freed me from this wooden frame

that housed me for all those forlorn years.

His mahogany eyes

pierced through my innocence.

He scrutinized every part of me:

the smile I wore,

the cowlick on my head,

and every baby tooth hollowed with cavity.

All these revealed my juvenile chastity.

But when I caught a glimpse

of the bush under his chin

and a token from puberty

bulging from his neck,

I was faced with the visage

of a stranger

whom I could be

had I left this sanctuary

built to suspend the judgement of time.

Bagong haligi ng Departamento ng Filipino


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