I eat the earth
Knowing it was you
Who removed roads
Carrying my feet to eternity.
How do you want
To be missed, my dear,
Each year a different
Form of heartache?
A moss-laden km marker,
Asphalt cracks,
Falling debris along
Narrow, sloped highways.

No memory is the traitor
Of time when decades
Become distances of our own
Wanderings. Flights of planes
Waiting to crash,
The sea losing itself from
Unheeding boats,
Buses injured from countless
Rough mountains.

You have become me
In finding what has been lost
Long ago, might be
The names on tombstones
Mired by men unknowing
Of life’s history.
Casualties of long-perceived

Somewhere beyond
My knowledge, you must be
Waiting, counting dust
Slowly wrapping your body,
The bed of my longing.
When your skin becomes
Crumpled paper, your wrists
To your legs, all of you tightly
Losing breath, I mourn in millennia
Your gaped mouth, teeth to lips,
The gumption of silence.

I eat the earth
Knowing it was you
Who removed from me
My eyes to follow all forms
Of your shadow. In the hospital,
The casket, my lap.
Still, I seek you, my tongue
Numb from water,
In times I carry my dreams
In the dark when I wake up
Empty of voice.

Yet you wait,
Still an ample time more,
For me to rest near you,
The epithet of a name I so longed
To hear. Just now,
Now that I have succumbed
To miss you,
The earth will grow plants,
Flowers, trees whose roots
The extension of our veins.

In time,
There will be rain,
The war between eyes and tears.
By then, I assure you I will finally
Find you wide awake, waiting.
When I do, you will
Come with me
And through the depths
Of the world we will sleep
Together and carry with us
Little fragments
Of our shared lives, shared love,
In each passing day and night.

2 Aug 2019

Ian Salvaña, 23, is currently doing his MA in Political Science at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria. He is formerly a faculty member of the Sociology Department of Ateneo de Davao University. He has attended several national literary workshops in the Philippines and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize by The Brown Orient. His works appeared or are forthcoming in various literary anthologies and journals, among them Universal Oneness: An Anthology of Magnum Opus Poems from around the World, Sustaining the Archipelago: An Anthology of Philippine Ecopoetry, Eunoia Review and New Contrast.

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