Water Wounds

Poetry by | June 3, 2012

The pure present is an ungraspable advance
of the past devouring the future. In truth,
all sensation is already memory.
Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory

To know, you must remember, you said,
standing before water, as you hurled
pebbles into the air, watching
with utter pleasure, the trajectories
of their graceful fall. And the rippling
you dismissed as a minor ache
of distortion, fleeting disturbance
of a mirrored sky. See,
no scars when the water heals.

Numerous nights, I dreamed
of all those pebbles you threw,
gleaming, white under moonlight.
Now the pond is gone. Nothing
remains to gather, lovingly,
with cupped hands—only stones
different from each to each. But
what matters most? Only this:
the potent myth of an eternal moment,
this heart-quickening sensation
of how the voice of still water,
receiving a white pebble into its body,
mimics the perfect way you say “ah!”

Maiq Bonghanoy, an editor, received his degree in creative writing from the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

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