PROJECT GRACE-UP

NATIONAL LGBTQ+

WRITERS WORKSHOP

The Fall

Paolo Sumayao

Was it Tigaon or Goa, when you said

as I drove past military men,

that it’s okay for men to look Neanderthal

so long as they’re in uniforms, guns and all?


or was it Camalig, en route to Legazpi

when you pulled down the windows

and said, “men with skin the color of pinangat,

are gorgeous pieces of specimen: creamy and dark.”


or was it Paracale, on the way to Calaguas

when a street vendor who sells pineapples:

the one with that lush head of jet-black hair

sends your heart up in the sky, high in the air?


It was all these instances, perhaps, I murmured to myself.

I subtly submitted to the pangs of jealousy

So dark, so deadly, that one day, I drove with my mind adrift

with you next to me as I drove the car off a cliff,


and you said, while mid-air,

“it was you all along: the one I loved the most.”