As fast as reptiles molt their skin,
October is on its way to an end in a few days now.
Swiftly, instantly—I only blinked twice,
and here we come to the final scene:
autumn foliage of maples,
barren and lifeless trunks.
I saw couples taking photographs
of that perished oak tree
with the setting sun behind,
and I heard them call it poetic.
“What’s so poetic about dying?”
Oh! I forgot that people love dead things.
When decaying bodies lie in open caskets—
decaying bodies that are cold and insensible—
they come to call it poetic.
They all come together to offer flowers
and sing a threnody—
dirges so sweet and soothing.
Dirges are so sweet but useless.
A vigil is an opera.
For many, a vigil is a reunion.
But my funeral is not a place to reunite,
and I didn’t die beautifully.
I rot, I decay, I decompose:
my death is not poetic.
I will disperse to be one with the void.
My death is not an occasion for your
get-togethers and photoshoots.
My death is not to be mourned.
Before this month ends,
I’m sure I’ll become that perished oak tree,
only not for snapshots.
I’ll still be dead. Just dead.
Nothing but dead.
It will only be the final scene
of my dying phases
as I die each day in a month.
Yes, I died a long time ago,
and none of you noticed.
Alyana Pauline L. Presores, 19, was born in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur, but grew up in Monkayo, Davao de Oro. She skipped two academic years due to mental health issues, but she’s planning to continue her studies and pursue BS Psychology next school year.