Burying myself

Poetry by | November 21, 2022

There are certain things that evince what cannot be hidden
from me by consciousness. After death, will my home be a casket
or an urn or the earth itself decaying me in an unknown
arid land? Nearby, will there also be an agoho tree? Will there be signs
of cloudiness in the morning in between heat and rain? Or
will they come together – moisture collecting dust from the ground
of me, that is me, or forgets to be me, or not anymore me –
and clothe tree bristles, thickening the shadow surfacing what
is me? Or will it survive time – me – and simply breed soil that breed
roots that breed life that breed breath? In the dream,
I am the soil that is carved out by rusty backhoes in an island
off a sleepless American city, and in cycles, I blanket plastic bags of
wrapped bodies. There were two Henries, an Anita, another
Jane. Next year, they will be the same, and another year after, they
will still be the same. They wait until everyone aboveground
continues to live, and they forget their names. They unbecome them,
and I unmake me. I am the soil that is them that is me –
Consciousness, when will I dream about anything but this?

This poem first appeared in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (QLRS) Vol. 20 No. 3 Jul 2021.  Ian Salvaña writes from Cateel, his hometown in Mindanao, and works for an international human rights organization based in Bangkok. He has an MA in Political Science at Central European University, Budapest, and Vienna, and sometimes teaches at Ateneo de Davao University. 

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