May iniisip ka?
Ayaw kong sabihin. Baka magkatotoo.
Dahil makulit ka
Kilala kita. Oo, ikaw 'yun: Nagkasalubong na tayo minsan, sa LRT, sa Gotohan, sa kanto ng Aurora at Katipunan. Nagkatinginan tayo. Hindi mo ako kinausap, pero alam ko, nakilala mo rin ako. Kaya ka narito, di ba? Para sabihing, Oo, oo, ikaw nga 'yun. Naaalala kita.
na, mula noong 24 Enero, 2006, ang nakitambay dito
Thursday, February 08, 2007
There, the old man says. A stone. And because he looks as if his hands know the difference between war and a comb, I nod and let the stone speak for me. Or a leaf. This leaf. I was blinded by mountaintops and rice fields and cannabis. I knew a wallet when empty is still a wallet, only it’s defined by space, or the folds in space. I was a boy in need of particulars. I have seen the earth heave many times, the old man says. I say I have seen stones float on water. Skip on water. The difference fits in my pocket like a switchblade and its selfish edge saying one two three and then you sink, saying you have got to be a stone to truly know water. This stone with its infinity of pockmarks, this stone shaped like a headless gull, that stone under the tree, this under my tongue. Under a mound in Palawan archeologists found jewels in tombs. Shards of celadon. Many-titted statues. I think in the end the old man pointed to the horizon and said here we go although he might have said indigo or some other color the wind splashed twilight with. Sometimes the wind likes to play and a leaf in Sagada lands on a sap-drenched twig and is frozen in amber. And the archeologist with asthma and on her left ankle a tattoo which might mean lotus petal or window with young girl peering at pre-dawn fog or the distance between Rorshach and calligraphy, she’s leaning over her apartment sink in Shanghai, washing her hands, washing a single blue-white shard, thinking airports and museums, thinking careful, saved, mine.
There are bodies: arms flailing and forgetting shoulders, backs collapsing from the weight of hidden shadows, hearts clenching, filling with water. Eyes on the moon pulling on the sea, the affection of tides propelling the wind towards the end of sight. Carcass of a whale. Coins and crushed coral. Wet maps: I am lost, you are lost. Everything, sometime or another, is lost. But the bodies, disfigured like slabs of candlewax in a dark, barren night, are restless. They find their ways through mazes of fog and trees standing wild like shadows at dawn. Or twilight. The difference is in movement. Or stasis, the way an eye clings to space. Rosaries hanging from the necks of statues, rings belonging to a fist. The fist does not see. The eye does not see. The body speaks to your eye and your eye weaves the moon, the tides, the body into a blanket luminous as a coin from a stranger’s hand. Look, by the door, a figure is standing still, holding out its hand, mouthing words. Pursing its lips, moving. Gaps between curtains. Gaps between fingers. A match is struck in dead air. Something perches on your ear.