Two Poems

Danabelle Gutierrez

January 2019


I know that I’ve had a history of painting you
like you’re the leader of the underworld. Black-horned,
befanged, clawed, or tentacled, wielding a pitchfork –
All American Gothic, me looking at you sideways,
but let me just this once be fair to you,
I loved you once, held your hand, very Frida Kahlo,
all red shawl and green dress, a dove flying
over my head with a message. I’ve kissed you Klimt,
all gilded, sometimes kissed you Magritte
through white cotton fabric. Cried all dots
on the phone when you told me you had to go
to the hospital, and then again when you said
you would love me forever. I even prayed for you,
I did. Begged the Almighty, very Rembrandt
in chiaroscuro. I can only say this in retrospect,
as I Vermeer over my shoulder, with a pearl earring,
the love once felt draining slowly from my gaze –
I am so sorry I couldn’t sculpt a better lover for you
out of all this skin, and these Venus de Milo arms, so
there’s not much I can do now, except to offer you
this museum of words, all expressed, and impressed,
somewhat derivative, and up for interpretation.

Girl with a Pearl Earring (c.1665)

Johannes Vermeer 


Credit: Mauritshuis, The Hague, Netherlands


But would you still love me when the poems leave?
When they shuffle out of the door
with my lips,
my smile,
my tattoos,
the things you want to tell me,
but just can’t say out loud,
and my eyes?

You writers and your obsession with eyes.
Likening them to stars or
something magical and trite.
What if the poems go and take just one eye?
Would you liken it to your solitary state?
Would you then write poems about a cyclops,
likening his eye to the moon?
When the poems leave,
do they take your sanity,
do they leave with your devotion?
And what is a god without a worshiper?
Is he mere mortal or does he just cease to exist?
And who exactly are we in this scenario?
Am I the worshipped? Yes. The adored? Sure.
The loved? Probably, but I am sick and tired
of your juvenile poems about your heart
and oh how it beats, how it bleeds. Tell me,
are you the god who has created me,
the masterpiece made manifest on paper,
written only so that you in your high heavens
will have someone to chastise,
to love and to love you back?
Or am I the god of your imaginings?
An idol that you fabricated and magnified
because you were bored and wanted hope
and you needed something to do with your hands.

Danabelle Gutierrez is a writer born in the Philippines and raised in Cairo, Vienna, and Muscat. She has been moving from country to country, taking photographs along the way, since she was eight-years old. Her three-decade-long life journey seems to have taken a longer pit stop in Dubai, where she now lives, loves, and writes.

She has been listed among Illustrado‘s “100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf” in 2016, 2017, and 2018; was the recipient of The Filipino Times‘s “Artist of the Year Award” in 2017; and was included in FWN‘s “100 Most Influential Filipinas in the World” in 2018.

Danabelle is the author of I Long To Be the River and & Until The Dreams Come. She is currently working on her third book.