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The Things We Lost in the Storm
by Cynthia Buiza

If you have ever wondered what you lose when the wind blows like the amihan with no mercy, you will know if you lived here. A murmur smoothes your nape like a bad longing. A commotion in the rice fields. A disordering of leaves. The lizard ticking on the roof of your brain.

One morning I woke up and I finally found what I have been missing: I have no photographs. There are no more tigers that roam in my sleep. I strung them together in a jungle of verse and wept when I cannot find the words because they are gone, all the smiling faces.

Everyday is an aftermath of the storm. There is nothing to it. Whenever I force myself to look, that is all I see. Scattered pieces of news, the gumamelas printed in her clothes, his sad hands, the chair’s misshapen legs, dolls with no heads, islands and houses in darkness that is only from Bicol.

Felisa, Simona, Pedro, Ferdinando…

Woman with no landscape, only mirrors.

It is a terrible fate to lose landscape in which to roam. To lose my bearings in a continent that won’t bear me out. To smile, ruefully, at regrets. To itch of too much loneliness.

The storm is a lonely hunter. It gathers me in its arms and flings me over cliffs and rocks and waves and tide pools whose terrains  -- I plead, I bleed. It is already midnight.

© Cynthia Buiza

 

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