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.” 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.
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