VICTOR VELASCO


Victor lives in Miami, having migrated to the U.S. in 1998. He studied Electrical Engineering
at Bicol University, Philippines. He works as an I.T. consultant. His prose appeared in
Philippines Graphic and his poetry in issues of Ani, the literary journal of the Cultural
Center of the Philippines. These poems were written sporadically between writing
requirements documents and project reports.






To the one who sang me love songs

We met on tangent, quotients
of opposites and what
held us next to each other.

You threaded straight lines,
I plodded inconstant curves.

We added our differences—
each is better than our whole.

You sang the first love song
I would sing to hundred
lovers over and over, believing it
myself each time: we are inverse
of same elements: x/y & y/x

that when multiplied
to each other become one.






Season of Loving

The papers warn everyone that death will continue
to stalk in two breathings: first for your body

then for all your future memories. It is
advisable to be alone but if being alone

cannot be avoided be with someone invisible.
Better if muted. Diminish engagement.

Measure conversations in completed fragments
not in unfinished sentences. Read the meaning

between the lies: you will find love skulking there.
Celebrate distances. Place between you

and those you love concealed weapons
the length of dozen hands that do not touch.

If you need to be practical use a crocodile, teeth bared,
or a buzzard, wings outstretched, each poised to devour

in a snap anything that sheds tears and despair.
Exactly the season you prepared for all your life.






Two Poems for Eric


Nature's Boy

He told me poetry is not magic.

He asked me instead to listen
to the music our shadows made
on water and watch the gradient blue
his finger traced below my belly
and taste the honeyed salt of his toes.

That is poetry, he whispered.
I gaped wide in understanding

and ate him whole.


To you I have yet to discover

tigers scour the maghreb in stripes of sand & night,
only to visit my dreams. the city i live in is built on water

& is also desert. i cross dunes daily, listening to news
of war & hunger somewhere, never here. i scour the maps

in the morning, reading warnings of strangers in stranger
places, wiping borders, capitals, & towers. i will escape

one day...to where? the ocean is a mile & ten years away.
my soles are sand & penance, fissured by wars unwon.

mounds of ashes & billows of fumes: my heart is worn.
but ah—another uncharted city—shall you & i roam?



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