Small Talk (poem)

Isang tula pagkatapos ng mga bagyo.


They found him
standing by the door
of the abandoned house.
The owner must have
felt secure
with him tied to a post,
guarding his stuff.
& couldn’t imagine
how he would violently
tug at the leash
once the murky floodwaters
his collar.


He sits there
at his desk,
far from the chatter
of officemates,
as if he were
somewhere else.
He has nothing to say:
his house
was inundated by the flood,
prized car tumbling
like a toy boat
in the avalanche.
He’s perpetually dazed.
The past is nightmare,
the future blank.


How do you start over?
To begin from the beginning
is to work
on a clean slate:
But he’s old, retiring,
his heart scarified,
by sad histories
of ruins.
Can he still make
that first step,
like a child?


she felt inconsolably tired.
It took her a lifetime
to map out a journey.
She has no more lifetimes left.
The blueprint
has vanished in a wink.


Would he end up
sad & bitter
as predicted?
The stupid old man
finally realized
he had to give up
everything –
words, ambition,
leave everything to chance.
He’s free
drifting in the waters
on a block of ice.


When it’s over,
it is over –
He is finally told.
Why does he think
he could hope
for a better deal?
She’s gone. Like air.
He didn’t foresee
the daily humiliation
of marking the impossible.
He’s the perfect fool:
A poet
he thinks he is,
of course.