poetry and other works

Merlie M. Alunan worked for her Masters Degree in English at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, majoring in Creative Writing and studying under Edilberto K. Tiempo. She was a writing fellow of the Silliman University National Summer Writers Workshop and the UP Creative Writing Center. Most of the poems collected in this blogsite are from her first book collection, Hearthstone, Sacred Tree. The other works have also been published in local newspapers and other publications.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Young Man in a Jeepney

Trapped in a conspiracy
of chance we sit close inside
this sardine can on wheels
horning the gasfume streets

of this dust-tired afternoon.
How your shoulders
strain your shirt; a stray wind cools
your sweat in my skin.

"This heat," I mutter,
"melts the very bones,"
saying this as i feel
inside me awakening

sweet April, fragrant May
unfolding flower fingers
on her lap. If she dares
she might pass her coll palms

on your moist brow. My own hands
competent and perfectly mundane
clutch my little burdens
close against my chest.

"I declare," a woman nods back,
her grimace mirroring
our transient common woe,
"this heat does dry us all."

Do you hear her?
On our faces ravished
with their aging hope,
Do you see the rogue crack

Like mortar on a weathered wall?
At the stop you get off--
anchovy bodies come untrapped,
shaken loose in the space

you emptied, your frail warmth
is stuck in your wake, a trace
above the indomitable dust,
the iron smell of gas fumes.

I do not watch you turn
the corner to the sudden dusk.
But i smile to savor
my sin in secret.

My 28, 1988


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