Had she asked me about the final touch, I would
Teach her how wires need not be tangled.
Only festooned with tapes. Only by calmed hands.
Gently, like her habitual kamote-planting.
The Afghan had cautioned, strongly,
About setting the thing off, I told her. She
Had known the initial steps, one by one, taught
Over nightly musings, and about killing
And living. How can the mind forget
Fueled by the heat of the heart?
Our foes are foes of Allah, she said.

But cables, tins, and tapes are catching dust now.
Black powder blending with white. Unison
In a tattered cellophane, hung on a bamboo wall.
Forests become quieter each day.
Guns thrifty of bullets. Mouths beginning to talk,
Minds better listeners now, comparable
To forgettable wrangles of days past.
She lights fire, giving life to the firewood
Until the flames cloth the coaled cauldron
Of her kamote. In the distance, sparrows hum
breaking the silence of the dead morning.

About the author

Mohammad Nassefh R. Macla

Mula sa Panabo, Davao del Norte. Tumanggap siya ng Sultan Kudarat Award for Culture and the Arts. Naging fellow ng Silliman at kasapi ng Davao Writers’ Guild.

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