It is the moon’s urbane hour—
the period for prism play,
and sidewalk vigil.
The bay tonight is a carpet,
creased by the warm west wind,
black, crayon crimson and yellow.
I sit on the steps, with a paper bag
of syruped sticked fruits, while you,
angle adept, contour the moments.
I watch you fade into the crowd of clicks
and ice cream cones. Fireworks balloon
and pop in the night sky.
You emerge from the flurry of laughs,
with a scarfed smile to show me
your harvest of colors.
In the roll of my mind,
I harbor outtakes of you,
undeveloped, paparazzi raw:
Cotton-gloved fingers by the docks
of the browning hills
in the crips of autumn.
Palms clasped in prayer after washing
the golden god of a birth day
in the bricked spirits of a temple.
Broad shoulders bronzing
in the noontime sun,
the sea shelling you in…
We return to the hostel,
doubling back to our double deck
I pillow my head, close my eyes
and replay tonight’s scene,
this time, in reel time:
the indigo wash of the bay,
our bodies head to toe,
blurring the crowd,
a stranger’s hand snapping
a portrait of two sailing smiles
in an open harbor.
Miguel Antonio Lizada grew up in Davao City and teaches English language and literature at the Ateneo de Manila University. He was a fellow of the 54th Silliman University Writers Workshop. His essay “The Bangkok Masseur” won a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award.