subterfuge

You Are What You Eat

Make new friends, but keep the old.

One is silver and the other is gold.

These are the words that my guardian angel had taught me.

After I got food poisoning from a blighted potato he enjoys.

 

I never liked potatoes, but I love them warm and crispy.

Goes to show that even recipes that take miniscule effort like chips and fries requires passion.

I cannot possibly give the potato another chance, now knowing that the man is a liar.

It took me a long time to realize that only I can decide the food groups that are right for me.

 

We humans are a complicated lot to read and decipher.

So don’t you dare compare kinships to silver and gold

Because even platonic love is the furthest thing from flawless.

And so are the guardian angel’s mischievous, yet spoiled acquaintances.

 

Friendships are like food from a college dining hall.

What’s on the menu is only delicious if we follow the recipes and turn up the heat.

But we must get to the cafeteria on time and grab them while they’re hot

Because they don’t taste the same if we’re served whatever’s getting cold.

 

Why should I believe my guardian angel’s wisdom nowadays since he has become aloof himself?

Old eating habits apparently die hard, but the same diet he practices for years is still going strong.

I used to believe that he was stuck in the middle because his acquaintances are often at war.

Now I am grateful that some of the pressure has been taken off knowing that I can’t please everyone.

 

I’d be a hypocrite if I said I am immune to this gluttonous misfortune myself,

But it is important to remember that life-changing desserts don’t take one day to bake.

Real gold and glistening silver always takes time and effort for Mother Nature to perfect.

When the sweets come out fresh from the oven, I also shouldn’t bite off more than I can chew.

The Elephant in My Cell

You came at a bad time.

A terribly, terribly bad time.

You showed up the moment I couldn’t stand to touch you.

I was afraid you were never going to come.

I should have been glad you came, but why am I not relieved?

Is it that crippling fear that the moment I touch you, you fade away like a ghost?

Is it that you might be a whistleblower looking for an insecurity to use against me later?

Or is it that you are trying to distract me from tending to my garden before it dies of thirst?

 

I want to shout, “Why didn’t you come sooner?!”

I want to shout, “Where were you when I needed you most?!”

I want to yell at the top of my lungs, “Would it kill you to tell me what’s driving you away from me?!!”

But I am too nice. Too kind and gentle to scream and point to the elephant in the room.

The very elephant that a sorcerer pulled out of his hat and crippled both of my limbs.

 

I never wanted to call for help because it reinforces the notion that I should still be in high school.

I’ve crawled around all year avoiding the other teenage drama queens that worship dragons.

Seems like they forgot that dragons like to steal our fortunes and our hearts. Before they eat them.

 

Spending time with my open-minded little brother has planted a seed of doubt in my head.

A seed that gets me thinking that all love does to me is waste my time experimenting with false hope.

 

My imaginary nights with a fallen angel goes along the lines of;

“Yes, yes, honey, shower me with hugs and kisses. Oh, my love, how I yearn for you.

Pleasure me with your lust until the water in your veins runs out and you become a raisin.

Only then, will I toss you in the sun and wonder why the hell I’ve never gotten lucky.”

When will the water cycle end for the both of us?

What compels Venus to bewitch me to make bad choices?

Why else do you think independent seekers with degrees in hand avoid commitment?

Our grandparents and parents are more patient than our generation is now

Because compared to us, they tended to their gardens and their raisins.

You did a bang-up job tending to me by showering me with promises you can’t keep,

With complex wisdom about human nature, stories of your struggle to get your education over with,

And the snuggles and touches that I wished were real more than the chains I dream of shattering.

 

You’ve made this game look so easy, you know?

All that had impressed me about you lately is how you’ve lured me into your arms,

Only to neglect me without warning when the sun was at its hottest.

Part of me does not wish to see you go because I tolerate the pain that your absence has left behind.

You scarcely have time on your hands, but would you care to join me for a cup of jasmine tea?

It won’t take long. What I want to know next is what else is new that you have yet to tell me?

Money is One Heck of a Stimulant

Your deceit has polluted the rivers near your villages.

The very rivers that its people rely on for drinking water.

A sip of that poison ignites a plague that turns friends into foes and kin into fugitives.

But where is the antidote? Why do your people continue to fall ill?

It is locked away along with the fortune you made from the production of your deceit.

Money is one heck of a stimulant.

 

I’ve been away for a long time to know why I’ve been wrong before.

I had beat a dead horse and gave CPR to two that had cancer.

I should have known that it was not worth it if the doctors were not going to help treat it.

I was an ignoramus. They have all the knowledge that the world had to offer.

So why not share it with the ambitious and give new life to these once noble steeds?

Money is one heck of a stimulant.

 

I long reminisced about a time when the doors were open to tons of villagers with potential.

It was a world that I wanted to be a part of since I was a guppy not yet exposed to mathematics.

A potato infected by a blight and stabbed me warned me that the chief doctors were monsters.

A poor surgeon who tried repeatedly to receive a raise vanished, was slandered, and never seen again.

A coordinator found a shady message in her contract that forbade arbitration and fled to another kingdom.

And I recently heard that the one coquettish nurse was expelled over scrutiny from her personal life.

Why, Dr. Kim? Why do you egg your personnel to choose sides when there are lives that need rescuing?

Can’t we all get along and lay down our weapons? It’s easier to negotiate than to wage war, but no.

Money is one heck of a stimulant.

 

People lose their minds when they fall in love. It’s not just me. It’s a fact of life.

I lost mine to a mongrel who shut me out after a few months and lied directly to my face.

A good friend that I had regretfully wronged had given the doctors the deceit that tainted the rivers.

A clever herbalist that craves drama knows how to brew tainted water to make it appear crystal clear.

Not everyone knows that making up stories to sweep malpractice under the rug is a gold mine.

Money is one heck of a stimulant.

 

The coachman that brought me to this place can call me a whiny little boy if his mood fits.

Just like the kid who offered sage advice to the chief doctors on how to break down barriers.

But that judges the coachman's character more than mine.

It’s an fyi that looks terrible just because he’s wearing it.

But hey, why bother listening to advice that’s more expensive than one’s pride?

The doctors’ salaries are too low for them to spare a dime to make that change.

That’s why there’s never room for improvement nor for sharing in their greedy hearts.

Money is one heck of a stimulant.

 

I am terribly sorry that your folks never taught you that what goes around comes around.

That your hidden crimes will come back to bite you when you too become penniless.

When you one day get a taste of your own poison when you drink the river you tainted.

What does your life have in store for you afterwards? Can you sleep at night again?

Will people still care when the doctors go their separate ways? What about the pollution in the river?

I will not return to the filth you created to clean it because in the end, the deceit would be even worse.

To change your practice for the better was my greatest wish until I found out how unethical you are.

Now it is to build a fortune of my own so the artist that my heart beats for can have a bite to eat.

That is the change that you will never see because you are too comfortable smoking the dough you baked.

Money is one heck of a stimulant.