Alimuom, A Filipino Poem, by Manuel Balmeo

Walang bahid ng pagtangis ang mga ulap.
Ang langit kung saan sila’y nakalapat,
‘sing kulay na ulit ng kupas mong maong
Ang kaninang malamig na hangi’y
bumalik nang muli sa dati nitong init
Sa unang tingin, tila hindi bumuhos ang ulan.
Ngunit kung ipipikit nang saglit ang mga mata,
mararamdaman mo ang bigat ng hangin,
maamoy mo ang alimuom.

Source: An excerpt from Alimuom by Manuel Balmeo

Hi, guys! Check out a wonderful piece of Filipino poetry that my boyfriend wrote on his wordpress account.

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A Fortified Waistline

Note: This is an original piece I wrote last year, only ever published in my private tumblr whose link I have never shared with anybody else except perhaps one person. This was written at a time I had gained noticeable weight and was really very tired of hearing how this affected everybody else’s lives more than it did mine. To all the body-shamers out there, this one’s for you!

 

i live in a society whose culture dictates that this waistline

is owned and regulated by everyone else

on every pair of jeans i own is a tag that reads “26”

a tag that dictates whether i deserve a slap or a kiss

 

i don’t really know who it was

that decided that “you got fatter”

and “you put on weight”

were appropriate and accepted conversation starters

 

i mean, whoever it was

must have had nothing better to do with their time

and felt that the digits of your waistline

were direct translations of your worth in numbers

 

as if your waistline was proportional

to your own perception of self worth

equating to your meager existence being given the backseat

meaning that your weight was a license for others to treat you like shit

 

why was the weighing scale used to measure

the amount of respect a person was due

if i took this measuring tape and wrapped it around your ego,

the least i would get would be a three digit combo

 

for some reason i could never really comprehend

how it was possible for their massive fat hungry egos

to deserve a placemat on the table

gorging on a plate full of carb-filled lies and meaty fables

 

while you starve yourself by the bathroom floor

puking out your confidence on all fours

and as you flush it down with just a tinge of hope

hope that’ll carry you as far as the next joke

 

and really i’m so fucking over it

when people tell me off, “no, that has carbs in it”

and “that’ll go straight to your thighs”

as if it’s such a big crime to indulge in some fries

 

i mean for fuck’s sake,

why should we have to starve ourselves

for the sheer purpose of their comfort

and their comfort alone

 

what about the comfort i need

when it’s night and i can’t breathe

for the fear that my stomach will get bigger

and in those last conscious minutes, my resolve would almost waver

 

you can sleep through the stomach’s call

and pretend it’s but an irrelevant message

because really what kind of gall does it have to disturb your sleep

each time it contracts in pain and in pinpricks

 

why should you have to suck in a breath

each time one of them pokes on the rolls of your stomach

and calls you names that reach inside with a crack

your body isn’t theirs to compress

 

your body is a temple

a temple built from the strongest of marble

but not a temple to be desecrated by their gods

not a temple to be burnt by their mortals

 

listen, friend, the secret is this

skin will tear and crack and wither

with a few broken scars to consider

and flesh will decay and rot and whisper

 

“you are a roll too many,

and a pound too heavy”

but your bones are strong enough to carry that weight

your bones are there to carry on in that state

 

your bones will break and crumble to dust

but they’ll never give up on the scale of your bust

it’ll stick to your flesh and your flesh to your skin

this is your foundation that’ll carry on your kin

 

your bones will buck and tremble

but this is the strongest part of you that is able

able to move and duck and cradle

the flesh you carry that you are so ashamed of

 

see, the strongest parts of you are covered

by those prone to society’s prodding and curse

measured not by a measuring tape or weighing scale

but by how much it can carry and carry on

 

you are made up of so much more than just flesh

and after all this is over your bones will remain

with no sign of fats or waistlines or weight gain

so who gives a fuck about the weighing scale

 

i don’t really know who it was

that decided that “you got fatter”

and “you put on weight”

were appropriate and accepted conversation starters

 

i mean, whoever it was

must have felt that their opinion was worth our time

but what i really mean is fuck you

really, fuck you and fuck off