Spectrum and Out

by Hyacintha B. Lupig

Spectrum 

Promise. 

One day, I’ll buy you the flag of thousand colors.

We’ll put on our Nikes and march till they open all the doors.

We’ll wear the same pairs of socks that spell out rainbow.

We’ll paint our faces pink, white, orange till we both shine and glow.

For now, forgive me for wearing my wallflower shirt.

The shades of gray, black, and blue.

Forgive me for showing up in my basic me.

I thought it wouldn’t matter when it’s still me you see.

Don’t frown just because I am not as loud as her.

Mine is just a silent pray’r.

A slow stride, an unheard step, the slow creaking of the hunted closet, 

But my plea contains a plethora of courage, woven from a conundrum of indifference and rejection.

Mine is a quiet ongoing protest, a thirty-two-year-old case needed to be heard.

Do not be disappointed just because I’m not waving the flag, 

just because I mimic all the chameleons as they camouflage, 

just because I hold my breath for too long to cage freedom from getting out of my chest. 

I am overjoyed yet it feels like celebrating New Year’s Eve in silence. 

But in midst of fifty-two thousand spectrum of colors, I finally belong.

I find courage. I find home.

 

So, cheer up and smile because one day, I’ll buy you the flag of thousand colors.

We’ll put on our Nikes and march till they open all the doors.

We’ll wear the same pairs of socks that spell out rainbow.

We’ll paint our faces of different hues till we both shine and glow. 

Promise.

Out

The world is not ready for me.

because when I walk along the streets their stares condemn the way I hold her hand.

When I go to church, they preach on how I can cure me as if I were a sickness, 

a mental illness that can be solved by Freudian therapy.

Prescribed me all the medicines that will eliminate what was labelled as sanity,

and I will drink every tablet, every pill, until I conform to standards and norms of this society.

Believe me. 

I have tried to be just like everybody else. 

I followed the basic guidelines of what a woman should be

And I felt like a ghost living my own body. 

I ended up in built-in prison where it was always dark and dreary. 

I couldn’t even breathe, and my mind just went blank and hazy.

That is when I realized the world is not ready for me

because when I told my friends they pretended that I was just being silly.

They even insisted on dating their brothers just to prove that I was acting weirdly.

That is why I am certain the world is not ready for me 

because in my own home I became a stranger so suddenly.

They have forgotten that I was still me

and that once upon time I made them so proud, so full of glee.

But then, the cheers, compliments, and laughter died a melancholic death 

and I was buried together with their disappointments and indifference.

Because this world will never be ready for me,

no matter how much I prove them of my worth.

So, I decided I will no longer wait.

I am ready.

For the stares that condemn,

For the misdiagnosis and labels 

For the jokes and ridicules

For the closing of some doors.

I am ready.

Even if the world is not

Even if the world will not


Hyacintha B. Lupig works as a primary school teacher. She loves to declutter her thoughts through writing poems in English and in her native language. When not teaching, you can find her watching the sunset in Manila Bay or exploring the exquisite Philippines Islands. Twitter: @larkspurknight