For Lolo, who taught me how to be a father
After José Rizal
“Farewell,” I imagine you said to your adored daughter.
Though you had others I look at mine,
With her mother’s nose but my mother’s eyes,
And I can only imagine the way your
Heart must have fractured and the words stuck
On the part of the tongue that goes wide
And swells when you carry grief;
When you’re grieving.
And, Lo, I feel that heaviness now.
I’ll feel it forever, I think.
I pace the catacombs of my mind
Wishing I’d kept the memories filed
In an orderly fashion. Like you’d have.
Instead they’re tucked and hidden and
What I’d give to be able to walk across the ocean
Across time and right back into your arms.
To have you call me, Jay…
To eat the rice cake you bought me, together.
To ask how to do all of this cause
All of this seems to be just too much.
My daughter, your apo, is growing
Too fast and soon enough I’ll have
To learn to let her go
To love her like you loved my mother
To learn to say
And know that love sometimes means having to say good bye.