Poetry | Inquirer Lifestyle



(For Deanna)

Told you about a firefly

that found itself inside

my room one Saturday night

in this ultramodern city.

Told you how it made me doubt

if my eyes were still or rapid,

if in the state of extended wakefulness

or aborted slumber, or extended wakefulness

in aborted slumber or vice-versa.

You see, it is hard not to regress

to a rice paddy of childhood memory,

beside that tree where I used to lie in nights like this.

Now I stare with countryside wonder as it blinked

its way across the pitch black room

wandering, as if lost like a lone itinerant star

in a universe of machines and black-hole schedules.

My gaze followed it, and unable to

contain myself, I uttered soothing words

calm enough to pursue its panic

as it frantically searched for a pore,

an opening, a way out of this dark cube.

Told you how surprised I was

when it darted towards me

landing on my bed – beside me.

Told you how I cupped it

with my palms, how I peered,

wondering if the brute of my

disoriented state of wakefulness should – crush it.

Told you how it occurred to me that

we were alone and close – that firefly and me,

in that dark cube. So to it, I whispered instead –

Trust me.

“Trust me.” That was all it took.

And so I got up, opened the shutters

and let it out, my gaze flying with it

as it flickered excitedly

in slow grateful elevation.

Never to be seen again.

At least not the same firefly.

Told you

and you were silent all the while,

that as the night sky embraced it,

it stayed for a moment with the stars – a sight

of a heart breaking.

Oddly enough, after it was gone,

I found myself alone

in that dark cube of a room

in this ultramodern city

one Saturday night.

—Jose Jason L. Chancoco