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Hindi ko alam kung ano ang bumagabag sa iyo nitong mga nakaraang araw, o marahil linggo. Alam kong pagod kang nakakauwi mula sa trabaho. Hindi ko tiyak kung ano pang nararamdaman mo o naiisip bago ka tuluyang makatulog kapag gabi, lalo na sa gabing di kita nakakausap at walang katiyakan kung may nakakausap ka man ukol sa mga saloobin mo. Marahil, magbabakasakali ka ng mga kaibigang pupunan sa aking kakulangan.

Madalas akong umalis nitong nakaraang bakasyon. Naalala ko kung gaano ako nalulungkot at di mapalagay noon kapag umaalis ka. Hindi naman pala naiiba ang pakiramdam ko kapag ako naman ang umaalis. Lubhang maikli ang mga panahong nagkakasama tayo ngayon kumpara noon. Minsan di ko maiwasang mabahala. Minsan, mag-isip masyado. Minsan, tuluyang malungkot. Katulad ng dati, ugali kong maghalungkat ng mga bagay–materyal, birtwal o kahit imahenasyon–kapag nangungulila ako sa’yo. Hindi iyon nagbago.

Naaalala ko sa larawan sa taas ang larawan ng isang sculpture sa isang papel na xerox na ibinigay mo sa akin noon. Maaalala na rin siguro kita sa tuwing makakakita ako ng makulay na bulaklak at ang tangkay nitong tulad ng nasa itaas. Katulad nito ang mga alaaalang tiyak kong babalikan ko kung ako’y nalulungkot at kung wari ko’y nalulungkot ka.

Hieroglyph

by Eric Gamalinda

We shall say then that steel hands
fashioned the city from pebblewash
and stone, and we succumbed–
that’s it–surrendered to its framework,
but the choice was not our own.

But we are crazed by simpler things;
pulse of wind, a bleeding moon.
And this tryst of fictions,
this fictive trance, might as well be,
shall we say, a choreography of chance.

Centuries later they will gawk
at anonymous relics scheming
sainthood–Time’s true heretics.
Meanwhile, when you laugh,
I am distracted by your sensuous throat:
no one will ever know that, or the wind
that rustles southward from your fingertips.

Or the night we were suprised by rain
and slept, imagining arms,
till the morning threatened moss on our teeth.

The rain will pry our history,
rendered impersonal by contiguous negligence,
from gravel, the roots of trees, these things,
that listen to our babbling, but do not care.

I should imagine we are already
somewhere there, human in the salamander
fire, half-broken, but persisting
with the opiate vision in our minds.

There will be ghosts among the walls,
perhaps a phantom of some fantasy, its hands
held up against the light, or the parched
ends of a poem to surprise a curious
archaeologist; or your voice,
almost electric, almost like healing water.

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