Friday, October 13, 2017


I WOULD CHANGE some line breaks, but this poem by Zosimo Quibilan, Jr. (encountered on Vince Gotera's wall) reads well for Pinoy Halloween.


They inhabit these acacia trees like children
playing grownup, cooking with corroded
cans a concoction of things lost
then found. Here, a broken piece of a toy gun,
a fistful of leaves and shorn hair and dead ants
and homemade candies. They would improvise names
to address each other — Hey Lover. Oh, Son. Mother! So soon
a daughter is swaddled in stolen shirts and dirt.
Between their palms they will roll
cigars as tall as stories they will have whispered
to one, then another, to while away
summer nights when neighbors insist
on bringing back the deceased by playing
at least a hand of peculiar cards with bent coins
and peculiar currencies. Some will see this night
darker than others. Silhouettes then become
trees. A movement here, to explain their grief’s origins.
An illusion of light there brims with expectations
like a steward for keeping sigils. Spirits turn
into giant limbs, lingering among intermittent glow points.
They would feel the air collapse in their own
weight. Shush, breathe this thick aroma. Hear
their diabolical laughter, mocking
among other things, our innocence,
our believing without seeing.

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