Sweet Nothings

Around the Holy Week in 2004, I decided not just to abstain but to do some real fasting. In the thick of things, food occupied a lot of space in my mind; so much so that I was able to write a whole bunch of food-themed poems by Easter Sunday. I’m sharing one of them. It’s not really a healthy food, but it can be with the right substitution of ingredients. The original poem is in Tagalog, while the English translation after it is a recent (as in minutes ago) attempt.

not for the faint-hearted!

not for the faint-hearted!

Leche Flan

Pagkatapos mabusog
Sa hapunang natapos
Matuwid na pangwakas
Ang isang panghimagas;
Lasapin ang matamis
Nang ika’y mapapikit
Sa dulas ng arnibal
Sa dila mong tigagal;
Baka biglang maamin
Ang mga nililihim
Na s’yang nagpapalala
Ng lihim kong pagluha.

Kaya namnaming lubos.
Hindi pa naman ubos
Ang tamis nitong kamay.
Mag-ingat lang sa umay.

Manila, 2004

 

Crème Caramel

After having your fill
From this sumptuous meal
No ending is more fitting
Than a sweet something;
Give your eyelids a spell
Savor the thick caramel
That smoothly slips around
Your astonished tongue;
Maybe only this will loosen
The locks on your secrets
That seasons my inner fears
And my undisclosed tears.

So savor the sugary spring.
Now that it’s still flowing
Copiously despite your deceit.
Just watch out for the surfeit.

Manila, 2013

 

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