if home were a song

“dahil sa iyo
nais kong mabuhay
dahil say iyo
hanggang mamatay…”
(excerpted from “Dahil Sa Iyo” [Because of You], a popular Pilipino love ballad)

if home were a song
i would sing it to you
a lullaby, warm and sweet
a cavern containing
ocean sounds and sand heaps
you could rest your head upon the floor
and listen to its heart beat

if home were a song
our tsinellas on the hollow floor would
flutter like the brush on a snare drum;
the clink and clatter of kuchilyas and tinidores
would be our rattles
and the drone of my father’s snore would be
the bass tone.

above the percussion of our household
i would sing you a family meal:
after the milkfish has been fried,
the oil splattered across the kitchen wall,
the rice cooker will bubble and boil;
sili, toyo, and suka
will be emptied into
tiny platitos
while mom, dad and sister
gather round
a wobbly table
that has traveled across the country four times.

then you would hear the
contented mashing of mandibles
sporadic talk
and kundimans being crooned
in the living room.

“dahil sa iyo
nais kong mabuhay
dahil sa iyo
hanggang mamatay

kung tunay man ako
ang alipinin mo
and lahat ng ito
dahil sa iyo…”

if home were a song
you would hear
the silence full of love
between mouthfuls and record tracks
and i would sing it to you,
until you have had
your fill.

One Response to “if home were a song”

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