Traveling in the city of your bone
I map your sinews with tiny finger;
Walking in the island with passion,
The pilgrimage could have gone forever.
Tonight, my tongue has bathed you in silence,
My tongue is a pilgrim lost in your skin
Journeying eternity’s true essence
In the vacant museum, I have been.
Your body is my own territory
Where your divine heart is my strong fortress;
This night I celebrate in its glory
To sail in the verse of your happiness,
Your beautiful skin is an empty farm
Where we build our dreams in each other’s arm.
-April Mae M. Berza
The womb of the words could not give birth to this longing,
Let me caress your shadow now that I’m missing you.
Shades of blue devour my heart as I awake this morning
Now that you are gone, I am left alone, missing you.
I hate those giant curtains covering the windows;
It makes me want to wipe the tears with it, missing you.
The cold coffee, the cold bread, the cold butter,
I ask that you remain for a second because I’m missing you.
I could not discover another word for grief, my darling,
The syntax of time calls for a hiatus, missing you.
The chirping clock forgets its duty today, only today,
I wander into the kingdom of dreams, missing you.
Sorrow penetrates into my left ventricle for so long,
Piercing my caged heart into its coldness, missing you.
My flowers forget to remind me to water them,
Staring the whole day into the ceiling, missing you.
This Mojave desert thirst could be quenched by your presence;
Be an oasis with me as soon as possible now that I’m missing you.
Pain drives me mad I begin to let go and dance and sing,
Sorrow is insulin to your diabetic kiss, missing you.
-April Mae M. Berza
About the poet
April Mae M. Berza is the author of Confession ng isang Bob Ong Fan (Flipside, 2014) and Berso de Berza (Charging Ram, 2012.) She is the associate editor of Bukambibig PH. Her poems and short stories appeared in numerous publications in the America, France, Canada, Belgium, Romania, India, Japan, Great Britain, and the Philippines. Her poems are translated in Crimean Tatar and Filipino. Some of her poems are published in Liwayway, Belleville Park Pages, Haiku Journal, The Siren, Poetica, Three Line Poetry, Calliope, Maganda, Metric Conversions, Ani, The Manila Times, Letters to my Bully, Remembering Rizal, Voices from the Diaspora, Madswirl, The Stardust Gazette, The Riveter Review, Asahi Haikuist Network, Contemporary Verse 2, and elsewhere. She used to work as the associate editor of Toe Good Poetry. Her poem “E-Martial Law” was broadcast on IndoPacific Radio on KPFA 94.1FM/kpfa.org. She is a member of Poetic Genius Society. Her two haiku entries were featured in the 9th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest Selected Haiku Submissions Collection, July 2017. She received an Honorable Mention in the 19th HIA Haiku Contest. She lives in Taguig, Philippines.