inspired by “Curtain,” mixed media on canvas by Ivan Macarambon
It’s the millipede burrowing through the threads of a rug
that did it. A sign of wet weather, I’ve seen one or two
this afternoon, racing down the elbow of wall
and floor, the grout between tiles its tracks.
Where are they heading, punctual
little trains heading for a wreck under my heels,
or against the wall under the handle of a broom,
little, black, rusty nails bent in the middle
like a sloppy strike from an untried wrist?
Appointments wait in cold corners,
behind toilets, the inevitable,
and I’m late. An hour at least. I can hear the fire
cracking through the cab window, minutes away,
above the river. They’d have set sail a thousand lights
on lanterns by now, like souls shifting, wobbling in the core,
floating by the volition of Death’s waters.
This is the fiesta, opening with a bang,
a thesis in a paragraph-tone setting,
agitating. The black sky crackles in gunpowder, thunder.
I roll down a window—a stretch of cars,
slow, eager, loud, wretched—
all heading for the lights.
Zola Gonzalez-Macarambon is a faculty member of the Humanities & English Department of Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro.