Vandal |
by Joshua Lagandaon

Some worthless idiot
carved your name
on the wooden desk I sit on in history class,
etched so deep
that the writing mangled
the otherwise varnished surface
once suitable for learning.

It is interesting to note
that every time we talk
about Seiko, or Bracken, or Katigbak
or any of Jose Rizal's
foolish, love-struck, dim-witted lovers,
I cover it with a book
and pretend that nothing
below that three-hundred page thick history book
is ever written.

In one class,
bringing none of my books with me
I gave up,

and ran my hands over the ridges of your name,
tracing my fingers over your "I's",
paying close attention
to how your name,
though shabbily written,
was done with such intricacy.

I raised my hands
and asked
if I could change

On the new desk I sat on
I fiddled with my pen
and while no one looked
wrote your name all over again
in deep, bold calligraphy.

That worthless idiot
was me.
Joshua Lagandaon is a Filipino writer with a degree in Creative Writing at the Philippine’s Ateneo de Manila University. He is well aware that he is way past his “child prodigy years” (to the grave disappointment of his Asian tiger mom). To make up for this, he dabbles in poetry and theater when not writing for local publications both online and in print.