Kakambal-Kaluluwa / I Don’t Ever Wish to Get Used to This – 9 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

fire and sunKakambal-Kaluluwa

Pagbalik mula sa lamig
ng banyo, marahang-marahan
kong inilatag muli
sa iyong tabi
ang aking katawang
damang-dama pa ang lagablab.

Sinubukan kong magpatangay
sa daloy ng iyong himbing.
Ngunit sinakop na ng liwanag
ang buong silid.
Tila lumang larawan
gayong sariwang-sariwa
ang lahat sa aking mga mata.

Gaano man katagal akong pumikit
at bumaling-baling
sa malakuwebang dilim
ng makakapal na kumot,

alam ng katawan na ito
ang pagbangong kaniig ng dati
at bagung-bago pa ring umaga

ngayong kapiling ka na
sa paglalakbay
sa pagkamangha
sa kaliwanagan.


I Don’t Ever Wish to Get Used to This
version 2

I return from the cold
bathroom, lay
my body next to yours
again, still seething
from the flames.

I try to be swept away
by the waves of your slumber.
But light has begun
to flood the room.
Even as I know everything
is new to me, I stare and see
a yellowed photograph.

I turn over, shut my eyes
for stretches of time
under the darkness
of thick blankets,

yet this body knows
the moment of rising
that goes with dawns
past and newly breaking.


This poem, 9 of 14 Love Poems. It appears in Baha-bahagdang Karupukan. The English version is not so much a translation as a reworking because the more accurate translation I attempted came out sounding trite. I wonder if that shows one difference between the two languages, or if it just means I wrote a crappy poem in the first place. haha.

About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. His latest book is BLOODRED DRAGONFLIES, published by Deep South in South Africa. Check out the official blog page for Bloodred Dragonflies. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. San Anselmo Publications released HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS in 2019 followed by CROCODILES IN BELFAST & OTHER POEMS in 2020 - both books can be purchased through their Facebook page. View all posts by matangmanok

One response to “Kakambal-Kaluluwa / I Don’t Ever Wish to Get Used to This – 9 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

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