Now you know how it is to be alone,
Solitude is full of grace, hallowed its name.
It is autumn, the altar boys cover their faces,
Reality is interred in the marrow of their bones;
It is autumn, the little girls braid their hair,
Truth is folded in every strand.
Back to their rooms, nights will be longer,
The days have stopped playing football with the sun.
You stand desolate, leafless with the trees,
Stripped of the greenness of another season,
Cut from the thousand islands of your birth,
Weaned from the glitters of stars and stripes.
How you have died with the grass of summer,
And yet the journey is just about to begin.
The celestial map has no color for regrets:
Life fully lived is always an exile.
From Glass of Liquid Truths (Makati: 1974; Iloilo: 1979; New York: 2013)