• High Noon in the Storm


     It glares, the light
    streaming in constant fluid wonder
    on the window glass,
    a corporeal thing
    that wails. Bewildered as a child,
    you gape
    in restive silence at the tempest,
    thinking of tales of gods and war, and when the wind would finally win the battle against rooftops and trees.
    The sound of the skirmish is thick.
    Then, the keening of a breaking tree,
    pained and brilliant and vast,
    stretches across your rain-drenched world. It falls defeated and dignified on the street, the corpse of a primeval witness whose arms still reach to the sky. A tingle of cold runs through your spine, as the light, a corporeal thing that wails, streams in fluid wonder on the window glass.

    * * *


    “Let me sing you a song,” it says. “A long- forgotten dirge.”
    And it follows you
    all morning long, humming hymns in your mind.
    There, in a crowd waiting
    in the rain,
    you hum along, knowing full well how the fog
    will mark you like an exile,
    mark you with its
    frigid fingers. It slithers,
    along with the slight
    whisper of a damp wind.
    Scenes shift before you
    in variations of grey, and the fog,
    like some ghostly choir,
    like a conference
    of sprites, stands vanguard,
    then obliterates
    into a deeper wall of pale
    morning rain.
    You hum along, watching
    the rain dissolve and
    turn once again into
    an unmoving wall
    of colorless, un-remembering fog. “Let me sing you a song,”
    it says, the song sticking
    in your mind like a stain, a recollected dirge,
    and you are exiled in a waiting crowd, weaving
    the Baguio fog into song,
    and people passing you by
    in white silhouettes.

    * * *

    A ROOM

    He takes her to a viewless room
    in a gaudy motel along the highway.
    He asks, “It’s okay, isn’t it?”
    As she wonders
    what it is he was asking, instead,
    she takes him to her soul,
    and regret is a pure white sheet
    defiled with reverent intents forgotten
    and strewn in a corner somewhere
    in a gaudy motel, in a viewless room.
    She tells him, “Okay,” and smells, strangely,
    of the milky substance of torn heart.


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