Lost

The monsoon washes bones upon the shore
milkfish spines with prodding eyes
rounded moons, eclipsed by
mercury
molluscs for lunch in a netted bag
slung over your spotted back

Bivalve consomme and a palm full of rice
from hand to lips, a whisper to your life line
“Sickness is a sin that stains your skin.”
But the whistling breath pulls the blanket from your bed
is the anito who laughs to see your dalmatian toes
the malignant humor at the corner of your mouth

And for a while, we can live like this
paying care to the spirit that shares your sheets
paying tributes of spring rolls and chicken legs
skin
in the corner of the kitchen, beneath the crucifix,
rotting

But the pearled robe saints, on icons under your pillow turned
their back to prayers as the sky fills
with grey solicitations, nimbus clouds,
and roaring gales
the voices of a thousand others unanswered
letters that stretch the horizon and pour
down the rooftop

The doctor
rings the bell
he sutures the heavens
with a curved needle of our ribs
an embroidered x-ray
“cancer.”

Ate, what’s a somatic cell, an assemblage heap
of genetic sighs, pauses, and punctuations?
patapatpat
the drumming of rainfall on the broadleaf
Seeping between our skins to
sing
psalm illnesses
white frond cries
and arnibal drool
to the spirit who haunts your body

The slithering veins, jade blood cut and
excised, a lump of hardened shell whisked
between my fingers
how tiny bodies make your body
in exuberance, growth, swallowed by
the strangler fig,
a delicious fiction

and as the storm dissolves along the horizon,
its straightened line of pearlescent papaya
overripe and spilling into the sea
the air is warm and muggy
hiding in sunlight, the spirit laughs again
Somewhere else

Under the banyan tree the yarn unravels at my feet
and tangles with the roots, legs, limbs
hanging hands who brush away my tears
like a cat tail switch


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