Meeting – 2 of 14 love poems

notebook cover smudged

Meeting
for Margie

we rode past the same mountains
on different days of rain

those massive greens gaped
as if a bolo
had struck
flesh and bone
revealing the most fertile soil

your skin made you stand out
from everyone else in that bus

three years had passed
since the last major shifts
of the heart of the earth
beneath, and everyone born there
still remembered that awesome power

I was two days behind you
bearing no hope or grudge, but lost

rushed through lush monsoon greens,
browns that clung to tires, shoes,
exposed skin, villages with no names
or none that lingered in the mind
of strangers and wanderers

you were not yet part of my world
we kept moving without knowing the other

those sharp bends came
at unpredictable moments,
momentum and shuddering metal
forced limbs to touch,
shifted belongings

for a while you stayed in Banaue, in fear and awe
all on your own, your eyes going a deeper blue

then that morning came with you
burdened by a backpack
of clothes and the barest possessions
I tried in vain
to ignore that blueness

and all the world came to that moment
and all the world was stilled, silenced

March 2008
-o-

This first appeared in Alien to Any Skin. It is the second of 14 love poems from I am posting this February.

-o-

subok-salin ng “Meeting”
Pagtatagpo
para kay Margie

dumaan tayo sa parehong mga bundok
ngunit sa ibang araw na maulan

nakanganga ang mga luntiang
kay lawak, animo initak
ang kalamnan itiniwangwang
ang kay yamang lupa

pinalutang ka ng iyong balat
sa dagat ng mga pasahero ng bus

tatlong taon na ang lumipas
mula noong huling gumiray
ang kaibuturan ng lupa, at lahat
ng isinilang dito ay gunitang-gunita pa rin
ang kahindik-hindik nitong kapangyarihan

dalawang araw akong naglalakbay kasunod mo,
walang pasang pag-asa o sama ng loob, ngunit ligaw

rumagasa sa matingkad na luntian ng tag-ulan,
kayumangging nangungunyapit sa mga gulong, suwelas,
balat na nakalantad, mga nayong walang pangalan
o walang ngalang nanatili sa isip
ng mga dayuhan at nagdaraan lamang

hindi ka pa bahagi ng aking daigdig noon
sumusuong tayo nang hindi pa kilala ang isa’t isa

di-mahulaan kung kailan tatambad
ang mga likong kay talas, ibinabalya
ng hagunot at gumagaralgal na bakal
ang mga bagahe, ipinagdirikit
nang di-sinasadya ang mga biyas

ilang araw kang nanatili sa Banaue, sakop ng pangamba
at pagkamangha nang mag-isa, lumalalim na bughaw ang mga mata

hanggang sa sumapit ang umagang
nakita kita, pasan ang bakpak
na mga damit at tanging
kailangan lamang ang laman
pinilit kong huwag malunod
sa kabughawang natagpuan

at ang buong daigdig ay nagtagpo sa sandaling iyon
at ang buong daigdig ay napatigil, napatahimik

-o-

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About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his latest poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. View all posts by matangmanok

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