The Scar Examined at Midnight – 10 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

scar

The Scar Examined at Midnight

tell me about that.  that scar.

it is a burn.  something has grown
over it that mimics skin.
feel.

my memory goes blurry
when you smoke.
i know you need to, but please don’t.
or i won’t tell you the story.

it is not a burn.
more like a reminder.
like some people stick notes
above doorknobs

so as not to forget
something they must take
before leaving.

i threw my arms around this woman
who wanted to leap into the fire.
but it was too late.

we held each other too late.

tell me about that.
yes, tell me about that.

  August 1998
-o-

This is poem appears in Alien to Any Skin  and is 10 of 14 Love Poems.

translation attempt
Ang Pilat na Inuusisa sa Hatinggabi

ikuwento mo sa akin ang tungkol diyan. iyang pilat.

pagkalapnos ito. tinubuan ng kung anong
halos katulad ng balat.
salatin.

nanlalabo ang aking gunita
kapag naninigarilyo ka.
alam kong kailangan mo, pero puwede bang huwag.
o hindi ko ikukuwento sa iyo.

hindi ito pagkalapnos.
higit na pampaalala.
tulad ng pagpapaskil ng ibang tao
ng mumunting piraso ng papel na may tala
sa itaas ng tatangnan ng pinto

nang hindi malimutan
ang kailangang dalhin
bago lumisan.

niyakap ko ang babaeng ito
na nais lumundag sa apoy.
ngunit huli na.

nagyakapan kami, huli na.

ikuwento mo sa akin ang tungkol diyan.
oo, ikuwento mo.

-o-

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About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. 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 latest poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. View all posts by matangmanok

One response to “The Scar Examined at Midnight – 10 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

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