El hombre fugaz
He told me one day, I will leave soon,
I’m going to miss you, I said. No, you won’t, I’m just a shadow,
I am here, always, but never really there
fleeting, you’ll never see but always there,
whenever you think of me. I’m in the street of Pratunam
haunting, walking aimlessly, looking but not finding,
lost in the profusion of colors, in Babel of tongues,
I am there fleeting, you’ll never see but always there,
whenever you think of me. I asked, Would you remember me?
Perhaps, when the wind blows from the Southeast,
or when the storm ravages the land, or when I smell the brewed coffee,
or a cat meowing, waiting for my attention.
Fleeting, I’ll never see you but always there
whenever I think of you. I said, Fleeting, like a shadow,
I’ll never see you but always there
whenever I think of you.
I make bed again,
in this room,
that was once strange,
now a home,
for the night,
for many nights,
I no longer count
how I lay my head
on a pillow
curve by hundreds
from different times
I sleep in a bed,
that comforts tired bodies
from roaming around
the city that never sleeps,
waiting for the next body
to lie down with.
Eunice Barbara C. Novio is a Thailand-based freelance journalist. She has been an EFL (English as Foreign Language) lecturer at Vongchavalitkul University in Nakhon Ratchasima since 2014 and an adjunct professor at St. Robert’s Global Education-Philippine Christian University in Pratunam, Bangkok since 2017. She also writes poetry while having coffee, which is almost all the time. Her poems are published in Philippines Graphic, Sunday Times Magazine, Dimes Show Review, Blue Mountain Arts, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poetry translated into Thai language, O Matter was published in Thailand in February 2020.
Alongside, she writes for Inquirer.net, and her articles have also appeared on the Asia Focus segment of Bangkok Post, Asia Times, America Media, and The Nation. She is a two-time Plaridel Award winner of Philippine American Press Club for feature/profile stories.