Silences/XX

& if our children should take after us,
what then? It is not easy, after all,
to cut wrists, or like wounded panthers
lick wounds, then stagger past danger zones
only to confront the circle of the moon:
once more, to cut ourselves to the bone
or whimper stupidly in forgotten rooms—
worse, strike infants with a fusillade of stones:
knives flashing like lightning in the air
hands eluding the clasp of febrile hands
hair turning into mask like black water over tears
We cannot go on like this forever:
If indeed our children should take after us,
what then?
somewhere, a tribe of women is bidding
joyful adieux to a journeying sister
somehow, a tribe of children is offering
wild flowers to Mahal na Ina
sometime, a tribe of warriors will be dancing
the death of partriarchs
& the bells on the hill that sound the alarum
of dawn & evening,
hearths that smell
of corn & venison,
flutes that rise
above the wind,
tambourines that exorcise
spirits of evil centuries
tell us,
who are dying & about to die,
that our children who come from us
are no longer us,
bled of love’s vernal poison.

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One Response to Silences/XX

  1. kimosabe27 says:

    The passion of this poem still freshly reverberates twenty years since I gingerly lifted the pages of Quadratic Silences; a solitary figure in the dusty corner of the once extant Popular Bookstore. It’s quite profound in some sense. The bookstore being demolished to pave way for some architectural monstrosity, yet the memories and the poetry continue to linger.

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