1.If time had a taste, you’d be the flavor of every season there is, and they turn into the drops of sweetness exploding in my tongue as the final days of November ease the cold of the night until it touches my skin, and all the more I cannot help but yearn for your hands. And as they give my fingers and palms the warmth they need, I cannot help but realize that this miracle deserves a name. It is yours.
2.If Ludwig Wittgenstein is right when he said that language is the limit of our world, then you are my final frontier, and your name defines all that there is left for me to understand, for in it I find meaning and sense, all in four words of twenty letters, maybe even just one and three: Kae.
3.You are as lively as the promise of spring, giving me the life that I have wanted for so long. I taste you in my mouth the way I anticipate the coming of rain: full of strength and desire and all that there is in love. I am as eager as a thirsty river waiting for the high tide.
4.I nourish myself with your kindness as though I have not eaten since I was born, and you satiate my heart and mind and body and soul the way they have never been satiated before. Your kindness whets my appetite for kindness of the same measure.
5.You are water, quenching my thirst when my lips are dry and barely able to say a word. You are an oasis, giving me comfort when the days become unforgiving, and for that I am thankful. I love you the way the night longs for sunrise.
6.Doubtless, you are a little girl with a heart so big I could easily fit inside, like a cast is to its mold, a shelter from the drudgery of this world. But even if you are small, let alone the heart that you keep, I love you just the same.
7.Whenever I think of you — and god knows how often I do — I just want to split the sun in half and take one to the other side of the world so that there will be no evenings and the days will run twice as fast until the time that I can finally be with you again. But I love the nights when I am with you, and I pray most often that they would not end soon, that the sun would wait a little longer and let the moon have its way through and through.
8.I take photos of you when you are not looking, or when you least expect me to, because most of the simplest joys in life are too overwhelming they pass us by unnoticed, and so I try to capture them, one image at a time, so that I can look back at them when we are not together.
9.You say you can hardly carry a tune, but know that when you sing, your voice beckons my heart and then I think to myself “If it is true that she cannot sing then I do not know what else she is capable of doing the moment she is able to carry one.” But you can carry a tune, no matter how truncated or prolonged, with as much as ease as the smile that you make. The modesty you have is a melody on its own.
10.Know that you are not just my song. You are mine, all of you, as much as I am yours.
11.When I told you I’ll be right there, it was a promise I intended to fulfill. Eight days later, on the tenth day of the tenth month, I returned to the city, hope swelling in my eyes to the point that everywhere I look all I can see is you. For the first time in my life, I realized then and there that I never wanted to close my eyes again.
12.You and I share many interests and, most often, think about the same things. It fascinates me. It is as though there is a long nerve that connects our brains, one that spans the distance between Naga City and Pangasinan, stretched out like a massive highway with its center right in Quezon City, and we are the only ones allowed to traverse that meandering road, much to the exclusion of the universe and the strangers that we encounter everyday. It is like a secret between you and I.
13.But of course, we are not one and the same. You say you can be an impatient woman. Patience, however, is probably my strongest suit, my virtue and my vice. You say you tend to get easily bored. I don’t. You dwell on the bright side of things, as though you have lived all your life on the face of the earth where the sun never sets. I have the tendency to linger where the shadows thrive. In a way, you bear the vitality of daytime, and I possess the melancholia of the night on a winter solstice.
14.So it is: you and I are worlds apart and yet we have our world all to ourselves. You and I dwell in it as though it is the only universe there is, and I really do not mind if that is the case, for here we are, you and I, proof that there is life and that we need not look further, farther.
15.All along you were in my mind before we met, like a seed eager for sun and rain, taking root slowly but surely in my fertile imagination, pushing its way through the thicket of my memories until, at last, it has blossomed and all I could see before my eyes are colors where there used to be none.
16.We first met on the fifteenth day of October, shy but full of unspoken passions waiting to thrust themselves in the air at the right moment that we dared to make. The second I held your hand, I felt my anxieties peel away until all I am left with are the words that I have wanted to tell you, free from the limits of the page and ink, dancing in complete liberty.
17.And on the sixteenth you and I were one, because we are as unconventional as lovers go, but conventional still in the many other ways that complete us.
18.You have become the sum of the minutes and hours that I yearn to live, and should the weeks and months ahead compress themselves into a fleeting second, I will not blink. The rarity of finding someone like you, of discovering the closest to a miracle that I will ever be able to encounter in a world that sustains itself through wanton indifference and betrayals, it is enough for me to finally draw my gaze away from the stars and settle my eyes on you.
19.Gone are the days when I used to wonder how it feels to hold the hand that writes the words that make my world spin, that turn me into a believer, a man who believes that the world can be a happy place if we choose to turn it into one, a place where every tomorrow tastes like every today — full of promise, ripe with possibilities, enduring in its own wisdom. Gone are the days when I used to wonder, for now I can hold your hands.
20.I trace the veins on your fingers, marvel at how they ultimately find their way to your heart, the source of your life, your life the source of my own.
21.The way you carry yourself, it is as if you grace the earth beneath your feet with your footsteps, as though the air you breathe will one day find its way to my lungs and nourish my body with the strength of a thousand soldiers, maybe more. The wind lapping against your hair, all the millions of them, it carries your scent and surrounds my flesh, and I surrender myself to it because I do not want to be anywhere else.
22.If touch is the language of love, I speak with my hands whenever I am with you, and the verses I keep in the hours and days of your momentary absence long to find their way to your skin, envelop you because you are where they rightfully belong. Home is who you are.
23.It is true: your absence makes my heart grow fonder. But if truth has gradations, what is truer is this: your presence makes my heart grow. Today, I am as big as my heart. I may be a Goliath any time soon.
24.And now, wherever I go, I walk with a sense of direction, because you are every north and south and east and west that I am willing to take. Forward. Always forward.
25.Because of you, I am whole again, and so you deserve the best that I can be.
26.Today is the twenty-seventh and you turn twenty-six. Never reveal a woman’s age, they say. Fuck the world, I say, because in my mind you are forever young. Besides, I am not good with numbers. And as always, math is not my cup of tea.