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collarbone -- poetry by Czarina Datiles

I cannot kiss him,

and he cannot kiss me.

it’s been this way for years.

I’ve yearned and learned

that asking doesn’t necessarily mean

you will receive.

I once asked the stars

if they saw me

the same way I saw them:

loyal and certain,

but they did not even appear

when I needed them most.

so, I wonder and blunder

on with words that don’t mean anything

to you or to me

just to hide what I truly mean:

I want you to touch me.

but I can’t,

and you won’t.

I keep my gaze where they’re supposed to be,

lost in the sea of your eyes.

though at some point,

you appear in my dreams as a phantom,

awaking my skin and my soul.

and at some point,

you take my hand and place it

on your heart,

and I feel it beating,

matching the endless rhythm

of my own longing.

I trace the lines of your chest,

the sculpted length of your collarbone,

stretching from the base of your neck

to the arch of your shoulder–

I want to kiss you in all the places

you’ve yet to kiss me in.

I want to linger in this warmth

just a little longer.

I cannot kiss him,

and he will not kiss me.

so, I keep my eyes where they should be,

at the tempting perch of his collarbone,

the sole thing I want

from him.


Czarina Datiles is an eighteen-year-old Filipino writer and poet from San Diego, California. A national medalist in the 2023 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, her work has also been recognized by The New York Times. Authenticity, courage, and vulnerability are the driving forces of her writing, and her pieces confront the most frightening aspects of herself and society. She loves rainy days, fantasy novels, and boba drinks.

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