Poems About Love and Desire

I Am Not The Girl You Want
Do not look at me like that. No
not that way with tenderness. No,
do not look at me like that. No,
not that way with desire. No,
I am not the girl you want.

I am impossible to love and impossible not to love.

I will fall in love with you on the 6 train
because we are reading the same book and
get off at the same stop. We will say they
are signs. I will ask you if you know
the neighborhood bar, and you will. We will
go there and discover we like the same
single malt and I will fall so hard for you
my mother, ten thousand miles away
will choke on her third coffee. It is always
light and easy, the way I fall in love.
Before last call, we will both be walking
on air, our mouths watering with
the sweet impossibility of finding
love like this, in a city like this.

It’s the loving me that isn’t easy.

It will be a gorgeous fall day, or maybe it
will be a dreary winter afternoon. We will
be on the 6 train on our way to the
neighborhood bar that has now become
our bar. I will spot his book, and it will
happen again. He will know about our bar,
he will love our single malt.  And my
eyes will widen, and yours might too
at the discovery of our kin. Our
embrace will make room, and
before Mama  can choke on her
coffee again your mouth will water with
the sting and spice of  knowing
what it is to love a girl like me.

It is impossible to leave me.

I will fall in love with you for
the againth time doing something
mundane with you again. We
will smile our soft smile, the one
was save for these quiet times. I will
tell you I’ve decided to spend the
winter with my family in the tropics, or
the spring in Paris. I will tell you that
if you get lonely while I’m gone
you should fall in love. That it’s cool
and this time it’s your Mama who chokes
on her coffee as your mouth waters with
the delicate flavor of the easy honesty
that comes with loving a girl like me.

Know that I am going everywhere and nowhere,
because I love, and love so.


of wanting

to be wanted, like so
electric, as in moth to flame, like
so unflinching, as in bees
to honey, like

so like when i wash
my hair, like so i
think of your fingers moving
through my curls, down
my nape, like

so mundane
as in the smell
of coffee in the morning
takes me there between sleep
and waking beside you, like

so uneventful, this
constancy of want
not ravenous or loud, soft
as in the downbeat
to the heart

like small spaces
in the a day, as in
waiting for the 6 train
like, so wanting
that kiss

as in, i need
a smoke only i don’t
smoke, like
so wanting that breath
on my skin

wanting to
know, when you
want me as
in the increments of time
and how, like

so, as in i want
to write you sonnets, like
so i do, as in
i want you

The Sonnet of the Virgin

Born in the ninth month, fate written in stars
older than the ages, virgin calling
virgin curse, Catholic puberty farce
hurried kisses, hands under clothes, crawling

Born in the ninth month, sick joke of the fates
scarlet letter, Virgo star sign shoulder chip
sweet seduction, irresistible bait
There in the lilt and the sway of the hip

Born in the ninth month, oh luscious vessel
lure of soft warm skin, of comforting touch
hot fiery breath, intoxicating smell
There in the sex, in the mouth, in the fuck

Born in the ninth month, part virgin part whore
Lover of men, sanctuary, safe shore

On The Skin
You sit at the end of the bar
and tell me you just want to talk.
Tell me it's cool, all you want
is to hear my story. I tell you, sure.
There are stories I tell on my skin.
Stories I spin, lies I tell and truths
I cannot hide, all there on the skin.

Like the time I scraped
my knee on coral for want of a
closer look at an impossibly
unremarkable school of fish. Far
into the depths of bluest seas, no
boatsman would take me there,
not even the fishing boats for fear
the reef would damage the hull. I go
out of my way for the mundane like
that, I will never tell you this but if
you place your ear here, on my skin
you will quickly find out.

Like that time in the Bangkok airport when
Filipino men were flying back home from a
neutered struggle as engineers in
the Middle East. It was a scorching
summer and much skin revealed
the Spanish hues but not enough
skin for them to see my Filipina
undertones. Speaking the motherland
tongue, they made unsettling
remarks about my breasts, my
thighs and what they might do with
either. The rest of me played along
with the story of un-Filipinoness
these men had conjured with their
desirous out-of-practice eyes. I go
out of my way to protect my kind like
that, no skin off my back.

Like that time when I was six and
allergic to Philippine grasses, and
boils forming on my legs and feet
told scary stories that kept my friends
away. I built a cocoon around
me and my skin, not a cocoon
in fact, a healing fortress of bandages,
strong medicine that made me scream
and kisses to make me forget the pain.
I go out of my way to get it right, like that.
The story is written there in plain
sight, on the skin of my legs. If
you listen closely I will tell you.

Only, we both know these are
not the stories you want from
me, not this night at this bar.
Only, we both know the only
stories that will be told tonight
are yours. So I keep my sweater
buttoned up to my neck, point
to your nape and ask about
that tattoo right there, on the skin.