It was a kiss on my burden.
I played the fool on this nectar settling on his lips
as he promised to get rid of the cigarette between his fingers.
Each year I wrote letters and birthday cards I can never send,
the address missing on the envelope.
The ink’s slowly fading
but the letters remain at the back of my bookshelf.
I learned cells replace themselves every seven years,
only found out about it on the eighth year he’d been gone.
I’ve read it takes four years to forget,
to heal from a loved one’s passing,
but each passing year
it feels the same for me.
I still sleep in the clothes he used to wear—
the plaster to my scars,
the concealer to my make-up routine—
but I’d wake up and realize
the warmth I will never feel again,
the light I lost.
Laurie D. Valdez is a 2nd year creative writing student of the University of the Philippines Mindanao. She is from Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.