You often ask me what I believe in.
Both the Bible and Pablo Neruda talk
About biting into an apple:
And I choose to believe in Neruda.
So forgive me if sometimes I bite your apple-like lips.
Because, to quote the poet, I want to fill my mouth with your name.
So here we are in the throes of Passion.
As our fingers intertwine, I hear the clank of nails.
My love, you twist together a crown of thorns and set
It on my head while, cloth by cloth, I undress myself.
Using the veil of Veronica, you trace the stars
And the scars on my face, and your hug covers
My body with the Shroud of Turin.
Like hammer against nail, your lips touch
My lips. Your tongue is a rattlesnake
Whose tail shakes and dances inside my mouth,
And all the time I dance with it, following
Its steps, movement, and rhythm, setting
Aside that it carries with it some poison.
Is it just me, or you can turn your saliva into wine?
Or better yet, your kiss tastes like a whole vineyard.
Even your breasts smell of freshly-baked bread,
And it is where my tongue always end up to.
I remember carrying the cross to Calvary
As I crawl and find my way around
And across your neck, towards those hills,
On top of which you nail and crucify me.
Forgive me if sometimes you think
I do not know what I do. But perhaps I do.
Truly, I say to you, today you will
Be with me in Paradise.
But even then, there, I shall thirst,
And it shall never be finished.
My love, it is into your lips that I commend my spirit.
All this is a giant leap of faith.
I believe in the scriptures that I taste from your holy lips.
I believe in the gospels written by your divine tongue.
I believe in the pulpit which I find,
And always find, at the church inside your mouth.
I believe that your whole body is the Eucharist turned into flesh.
I believe that every breath you take is a glimpse
Of my salvation and redemption.
And even if I die every time you inhale,
And you bury me in the crypt between your lips,
I know, and I’m sure of this, after you exhale
I shall rise again.
Now, even if you see no holes in my palms,
No wound in my side,
Reach out your hand and have faith in me.
Jade Mark B. Capiñanes, an AB English student at Mindanao State University – General Santos City. This is the piece he performed in “#HugotGensan: Ang Unang Tikim,” a spoken word event organized by Pangandungan, a newly-formed writers group in GenSan.