In Another Lifetime: I have Lived But for today: I have survived

Illustration by: Zamantha Guanlao

By: Angeline Yambao

 Have you seen my son?

Have you seen my beautiful boy?

If you have…

Please tell him, I miss him.

My beloved boy, who I used to cradle within my arms and help nurture. My beautiful child; who is the splitting image of his father, who I used to take to Mickey D’s at three in the morning, a small dot of trouble filled with mischief, clothed in the clothes of naivety and mirth of innocence.

He’d claim he belongs to flashbacks, phantom strangers, photographs, mausoleums and museums. He’d sometimes wander through dark alleyways, dismantled homes, midnight blues, and subtle bruises. He’d jest he found euphoria from distilled pills, high fences and dirty bathroom floors. He’d come home with his ghost of a friend, with an ache so deep, sporting a bruising lip, a hint of a grin, stitched, bandage knuckles and crooked teeth  —  the last I heard  “I’m sorry, Ma.”

Have you seen my girl?

Have you seen my beautiful girl?

If you have…

Please tell her, I miss her.

My beloved girl, who had woven golden rays of sunshine, rainbows, and sparksfly. My beautiful child, who’d be dressed in starlight, eyes alight from the gentle caress of poetry and prose.  A melodic laughter which unbinds me, consisting of bellowing bells filled with one’s hope, as she spoke of unknown dreams. Where she smelled of withering books, deep stained inks, and the vibrant palettes of the morrow.

She’d lay awake ‘til the stroke of midnight, awaiting the rising sun of dawn, in between the pages of one’s run down stories, which was tucked at the far corner of one’s abandoned sheets.  As sorrow flows through her sacred bones, nimble fingers create temporary homes, as if she were changing seasons coated in the decadence of crippling drought.

And when silence befalls her, you will come to understand through her longing gaze at the high heaven’s and deep-rooted sighs, where she buries through the fertile ground.  She’d develop a habit of spreading her arms far and wide — illuminating a vision of a holy grail as she tastes the sacred and the sins.  Through the fragments of one’s mouth, where black, ashen smoke resides, is exchanged from a dying smoker’s exhale to be alive.

Perhaps, you will come to understand, once you see her face turn pallid, the small section of her hair rising through the soft whispers of background noise. As her lungs are encapsulated by one’s strangling guilt, silhouettes of fear, unlived breaths, and a maddening hunger for one’s remaining “what” and “If

As the  caverns of her skin embody a list of scars; painted in the subtle colors of a raging red, a sickly yellow, through the hollows of lavender and a fading shade of a bruising blue, as she fell from grace.

Have you seen my children?

Have you seen my beautiful children?

If you have…

Please tell them,

I’ll be waiting at home.

My beautiful children, there will come a day where the light of the sun and the looming darkness of nightfall will form into an eclipse — it will help guide you back into my awaiting arms.

Until then, when they ask me what I weigh — I will come to answer your name. I weigh the love for my children, far greater than the burden which resides.

 For, we have the time to heal…