THERE is a color clouded underneath the walls of the room
put a foot, shove the shoe or a toe underneath its cloak
in a graying green refracting light, it is imitating a ripple
and the outside is there merely serving to contrast and nothing more
it sits and says that there—that there, is an internality,
there—outside, she points—you will see an inside

Is this not where the light breaks and changes direction?
We decided to call it off with leftover rain on the pavement
Should I have rung the bell at the expense of estrangement?
And while you’re at it, could you skip the tunnel? It’s a sham.
Our only recourse is denying every knowing,
Rarely blinking as you’re drinking, distortion is mark of reality.

Here. Try and find my pulse, will you?
I am consecrated by science, don’t you see?
Feel it closely—blood moves underneath me
up until the rain catches on and sheds our skins off of us
Have you tried singing as long as the boat ride to the island?

Water stays out so we can call ourselves soaked
All this dripping can be proof of our imaginings
Otherwise, how else can we forget we are creatures of blood?
We are bearable only until we puncture the mantle
Think of the wind, it is grace. Look at the light, straight at it
Make a haze, make haste. Who are the Gods? Tell me, I know.

Can anything pass through our skins and can voices vacillate?
and the house is built on bones as many houses have been built on bones,
piled up to create a tower and the topmost skeleton is defined by the way
its body is curved upward towards heaven
as if the light will soon carry him away from
where he lies,

to God, whom he worships only as far
as his sights and conceptions can take him
and the light at the end of the tunnel is
mythology to signify his predilections
but then the thing we call grace is
merely the wind blowing on our faces

at the moment we feel it should
after we’ve been down on our knees from grief
and we grab the hands of the old lady who
is a stranger who does not know what
we cry about in our wailings that one cold night
and the next instance that we meet an eye

we stare with intent, can anything pass through
our skins besides our tears and voices?
that the warmth from the hand is merely the
passing of blood in our arteries to our nerves
and when we remove our shoes to walk on the cold
pavement with leftover rain,

the water remains outside to allow us to call
ourselves soaked. We imagine the little things we
are made of to be consecrated by science
—atoms and molecules, tissues, cells
pictographic things for what we cannot see

but it is with intent that we call the ripples of the waves
a force of our shifting movements, and the
droplets from heaven, a gift from the gods.

About the author

Floraime O. Pantaleta

Nagsusulat siya sa Chavacano at Ingles at minsan, sa Filipino at Sebuano. Nag-aral ng Literature at Linguistics sa Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Kasalukuyan siyang nagpapakadalubhasa sa Ateneo de Zamboanga.

By Floraime O. Pantaleta