“Comme l’Autre est la tentation du Même,
le Tout est l’exigence du Divers”

– Édouard Glissant

To consent not to be a single being
is to declaim the effacement: aphasia.
Directly below your mimicry
is a plaster always molting. And
on a palimpsest is a secondhand memory
you prize for yourself.
So when the child comes up to you
with a gesture, owing from the rhythm
you do not recognize, you return a shrug.
Your language is too important.
In my utterance, I locate the erasure
and trace the faded pulses. We have replaced
it with makeshift words for the time being.
When you find a recollection, connect the synapses
for the whimper. A woman cried out
in a chortle, in search of the word for reticence,
tumbling for fraises of the fedantic.
With the waving of a hand—stop—or was it look?
was she asking us to look? Were we trembling?
When I return, it was just a matter of time
for a failure to recall. We oscillate between
and know only the middle. We are returning
to a space of vacuity. Of a wound and
we keep forgetting.

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.

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