Poetry from Starlie Tugade


she was at a train station
with no direction in mind.
the world spun on
behind her,
people talking on business calls,
yelling at kids to “keep up!”

it was his fault she was here,
adrift in a world
where being tethered
to inanimate objects
was key.

she wondered how hard it would be
to dash across the train tracks
and avoid being caught.
it was the type of thought
he would have.

he had been damaged
for a long time.

his childish snowflake edges
now sharpened into knives,
unwittingly ready to cut
anyone who came near.
his flowered heart
once blooming and joyful,
now a ninja star,
incapable of being cradled
by smooth hands.

he had spent many hours
looking at the moon.
or glaring at it.
she didn’t know.

but his silhouette
hunched on the deck
and bathed in white light
was a secret
for only her.

his fingers were always calloused now,
ridges from guitar strings
pressed into them.

she secretly hoped
she could hear him in the night.
sorrowful tunes
made by someone who knew
what he was doing
even if he never showed it.

the wrinkles behind his eyes
faded long before she realized
he never smiled anymore.

they were on separate trains
heading in opposite directions
and the most she could do
was press up against the window
and love him
while it lasted.