The Ascension

By Patrick Jayson Ralla

My arms morphed
into wings. Gray
feathers ruffled through
the breeze of polluted air,
as I dreamed
of a new day. Caged
in a mortal coil, I longed to be
where the sun resides—
a place of warmth, eternal
mornings and no nights.
I soared high
above the clouds, glided
with the wind, and went towards
the blazing sun, abandoning
a vessel below the ground.


by Patrick Jayson L. Ralla

Bumangon ako
kaninang umaga
sa nitsong
taguan ng mga labi
ng aking mga nakaraang buhay.
Nabuhay akong
may panibagong sigla
upang subukang
ang aking landas —
mga naging landas.
Ngunit ngayong gabi,
tulad ng iba pang nagdaang gabi,
muli akong mamamatay
habang nakahiga
sa aking kabaong.
At bukas,
muli akong babangon
upang subukang baliin
ang hindi maiiwasang
kapalaran ng aking buhay:
paglalim ng dilim
at muling isisilang
pagdating ng bukangliwayway.

Cigarettes and Ashes

by Patrick Jayson L. Ralla (Poetry)

A cloud of smoke emanates
from the very being in which my mind
is trapped.

Each breath I draw in
is a clamor for survival,
each breath I exhale
is a surrender of my existence.

The ashes from my cigarette
is the decay of my being.
(My body perseveres.)
(My mind asks until when.)

Its dim light is my only source of hope.
For one day, I will fizzle out
either by nature or by force,
alone in a dark room
with nothing but the lingering mist
covering my nakedness
as I sit
on the edge of my bed.

The quietness accompanies
the bare existence of my physical body.

Gradually, I am consumed
by the ecstasy of momentary satisfaction
from the cigarette between my bony fingers.
Yearning for more, I reach for another one,
lighting it with a matchstick.
It enables me to be rotten.
And for the longest time,
it desires the destruction
of my very own body.