Sound Memory
For Loreto Yballe
Raechelle Yballe

Her words escaped me
that thick Cebu summer
yellowed by a lazy sun, muted
lethargy seeping through.

Carachuchis sweated perfume,
she basked in the shivering hum,
freon hisses escaping louvers,
fanning liver spots splatters.

The sun beat on the helpers,
beating sheets to whiteness,
beside the whitewashed pool
where I imagined Daddy,

lanky and asthmatic, cannonballed
splashing ringlets in his wake,
the spring board's sonar bounce
plumbing the depths.

These fickle junctions fail;
the mind's ear hears
neither stories, just the flapping
of crisp Bicycles shuffling,

nor words, just Papa's ivory cane
tapping against the hollow floor -
even Chaplin had words flashing
white against a stark black screen.

Only memories of memories now,
my word-deaf world
of her creation;
she's forgotten, too.

1999 Raechelle C. Yballe

Asymptotes in the Moonlight
Raechelle Yballe

                               meet me halfway
                              beneath these silver rays
                            dancing upon a gentle sea
                          whose crested waves did fall
                        upon each other spent
                     love, after all, is a path we must share
                meet me halfway
          across the grey-white strip
 where coquette sandpipers scampered
 towards the water's edge
         almost succeeding but
              never quite touching; in flight they flee death
                  meet me halfway
                      halfway once more beyond
                         this sea salt grave of broken shells,
                           silent fears, infinite
                             halves that separate us
                              since halfway is as far as we can go

1999 Raechelle C. Yballe

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