The poem I wrote as I faced Taal and hid from my emotions

The view that inspired all this

This is where I found you –
in black ink,
on a blank sheet of paper,
stuck to a green-tinted window.
My name was number seven, I think.

This is where I found you –
in mid-air,
at the back of my head when asked if I trusted you,
amongst clammy hands struggling to soften the fall.
Blindfolded, everything was put into perspective.

This is where I found you –
beside me, no longer hiding, drenched,
in front of me, forming a pyramid of sweaty kids and more noise,
around me, wet on an impossible school day.

This is where I found you –
in Tagaytay, Lucban, Tuguegarao and Vigan,
in all the places I never hoped to go to
when I was satisfied with the solace offered by my room,
during late nights when a bunch of cards and lipstick meant everything.

This is where I found you –
inside an empty office that made a mess of itself,
in the sound of printers jamming and doors creaking open,
under the table I never got to sleep in.

This is where I found you –
everywhere.
I stared at the lakeside volcano hoping for comfort.
You were everywhere and I have to go anywhere but.

“This is where I leave you” –
it would’ve been a good conclusion.
I waded through the shoreline the morning I wrote this poem.

This is where I found you –
in myself, coffee-induced and barely quiet.
I miss you, at the back of my head still,
and that’s okay now.

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