Monday, January 31, 2011

What Are The Odds?

And we all run the risk of
To remain silent, I don't know....

-- China Crisis

I know. The clich├ęs abound—
The world's round, the calm’s before
the storm. They grow malignant,
feasting on sudden deaths, old ties.
They flourish in symmetry, as children
balancing on seesaws aspiring for
that plateau, instances of evenness,
flatlines. Still

the crows are circling the field
and the scarecrow stands useless.
And, moving on, I realize that
horizons fluctuate because the sea
simply permits it. I was waving my
goodbye to someone, in a dream,
in a hospital. Her head

tilting like left-behind women
on the docks in films. Cruel gestures,
preventing voice. Far away now,
farther away. Until even how her
lips moved has become an aspect
of the sea. Collision

or silence. Heartbeats stroking
the evenings toward land. Spikes
protruding now over the belabored
absences. In that dream, I felt
happy. In that dream I sensed
presence. See, there lies reco-
very. See, there goes

drowning and this fear of depth.
What are the odds, whispers my
sister, finally summoning speech.
We are staring at grass, surveying
the earth, aware of how the sudden
wind is carrying our words somewhere
else far— the sea,

a hospital. Because it is not
the ground shaking but
our bodies. Because this is not
a dream and the flowers are
wilted. And because the world
is, always been, and ultimately,
flat. Even in death.

For Nanay, 1950-2010