To Live, Love, Leave & Die Like my Favourite Hollywood Movie Character

To say hello like Jack Dawson:

Class-blind, convinces suicide prospect 

in the middle of merciless sea

that life’s always worth living

and love, and love alone,

doesn’t sink. 


To bid goodbye as Rhett Butler:

Wandering gambler stakes everything

for a happy home. Then,

finding love long spurned 

has vitiated his spirit thin and worn,

rejects fate of passing days as prey 

entangled in a net of cracks 

and, upon her turnaround,



Only to return as Heathcliff:

To his beloved and declare 

in her husband’s face 

that the estate singed by their secrets, 

which fields in servitude he tended, 

then left a bitter man, 

is now his.


Then sacrifice the affair à la Rick Blaine:

Lets her board plane and fly

through the grey war-torn sky, 

leaving him on tarmac grim,

convinced that a nation’s liberation 

surpasses whatever lovers

share and bear.


And finally, to die as Michael Corleone:

Old Don sits on his courtyard chair,

unreels films in his mind’s eye,

plays each scene with laboured breath.

His last thoughts on loves past and lost

haunt as unpunished crimes,

every heave crude measure 

of blighting time,

until he falls and slumps face down,

ends motionless with lips planted

on parched, sunlit ground.

Karlo Sevilla writes from Quezon City, Philippines and is the author of two poetry collections: "Metro Manila Mammal" (Soma Publishing, 2018) and "You" (Origami Poems Project, 2017). He was a runner-up in Submittable's 2018 National Poetry Month poetry contest and one of his poems is nominated by Ariel Chart for the 2018 Best of the Net Anthology. His poems have appeared in Philippines Graphic, Philippines Free Press, Radius, Eclectica, Matter, and in other literary journals and anthologies around the world. He currently studies for the Sertipika sa Panitikan at Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Filipino (Certificate in Literature and Creative Writing in Filipino) program of the Center for Creative Writing of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.