Prime real estate

These days all I can think about
is if I fog up
your head,

fill it with thoughts
about me. You said

I am too occupied
with myself. In love. 

I said no,

it’s not true. The truth is
the prime real estate –
my head – is occupied by you.

I said “prime real estate”
like it’s an expensive
place to live in.

But it’s not quite ready for occupancy:

My head is an empty room
with un-curtained windows.

A boy asked me once
where the “prime real estate” of my body is.
My eyebrows, I joked.

I thought about you, already
there, your shadow stuck
to the walls.

yet to arrive at the door.

Note: I wrote this poem while stuck in Manila traffic. A boy really did send me a text asking me where the “prime real estate of my body” is :/ This should have been my reply — a poem for someone else.

shoeshine boy

the little boy stoops
next to your shoes,
holding a dirty rag
in his hand. why does he want
to clean your shoes
when they are mildewed, stitches coming
loose, seams on the verge of exposing
your feet like a national secret?
your new shoes were a waste
of money; they pinched your toes
until they turned blue. the old shoes begged
to be worn. you look into
the boy’s eyes. they ask
for truth but not mercy. you let him run
his rag over your feet and later
when he is gone, you bend down
to check the state of your shoes,
only to see them clean
like they have never been
used at all.