Two Poems

The Adirondack Review
     for V. Manuel

Why forgive us now? I ask, I ask. 
You say, too late. Too late now, I agree, 

for hearts so far apart can only smell the scent 
of hate we heeded then. 

(You flew to the East. Destiny and rebellion, you claim) 

We have begun to see different gods of rebels. 
Do you even remember the language spoken here? 

You have learned many words for rebellion
I recognize one, surrender. Your many words 
don’t matter in this monolith of bad syntax.

So I sit here stuttering our structures of regret. 
How you say, too late. How I agree without 
filtering nuance. How I accept absurdity in all its form. 

Hours figuring the language of how to love you less.

The Moment
     for Brian C

How do you record a thought that flies as fast
as the arrival of a new one? How do you bring it back?

How do you tell yourself to hold it, hold, tell it to stay,
this thought, fading now, the first line with only two words

to remember him and nothing else.

He is a fleeting moment, this you knew,
a poem in the making you have never begun.

Why you thought there was a future in the way
he held your hands, a feeling you claim to be different

from the darkness in all of the other rooms.
There is only one door that stares at you back

to remember him and nothing else.

How do you record a thought that flies as fast
as the joy you now begin to understand, this joy

to remember him, only to remember him, and nothing else.

BINO A. REALUYO has published poems in The Nation, The Kenyon Review, New Letters, Manoa: International Journal of Pacific Writing, Mid-American Review, Puerto del Sol, The Literary Review and several anthologies such as the Norton Anthology Language for a New Century and Fire in the Soul: 100 Poems for Human Rights. These two poems are from his recently completed manuscript, The Rebel Sonnets.

His poetry collection, The Gods We Worship Live Next Door, received the Agha Shahid Ali Prize for Poetry in 2005. Its Philippine edition, published three years later, received the Philippine National Book Award for Poetry in 2009. He has received fellowships and awards from Yaddo, New York Foundation for the Arts, Valparaiso in Spain, Urban Artist Grant, Queens Council on the Arts, and a Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from Poetry Society of America. He works in the field of adult literacy, providing education and support for immigrants in New York City.