PROJECT GRACE-UP

NATIONAL LGBTQ+

WRITERS WORKSHOP

Rak en Rol* na walang Asukal

Paolo Sumayao

Makulay ka nga’t kaakit-akit:

maliliit na tablang humiram ng

kulay sa bahaghari at lumundag

sa mainit na mantikang dagat,

umahon at namahinga 

sa mangkok ni Lola.


Makulay ka nga’t malutong:

tila bagong taon

sa loob ng aking bibig

o di kaya’y tag-ulan

sa daigdig ng mga yerong bubong.


Makulay ka nga’t matabang naman:


kung ano man ang iyong pagkukulang

wala ito kumpara sa kakulangan kong

panatilihin ang akit at lutong

ng relasyong mistulang 

awit na rak en rol.


*Rak en Rol, a deep-fried fried tapioca or cassava-based delicacy presented in a multitude of colors, sprinkled with sugar

Rak en Rol without Sugar

You are indeed full of color and captivating:

little wooden pieces that borrowed

colors from the rainbow and leaped 

into the hot sea of oil,

got out of it and rested

in Lola’s bowl. 


You are indeed colorful and crisp:

like the new year

inside mouth

or like the rainy season

in a world full of metallic roofs.


You are indeed colorful and yet bland: 


Whatever it is that you lack

is nothing compared to my lack

at maintaining the desirability and crispness

of a relationship that is like

a rak en rol song.


     

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