Notes Gleaned from a Brief History of Bones

By | 1 February 2021

Science insists where salt goes
water follows, which accounts
for the distended body of
the beached whale found along
the coast of Camarines Sur.
When they split its carcass open,
a gush of plastic cups and salt
poured out. The townsfolk, thinking
it was of extraterrestrial origin,
mistook the beast for a fallen god.
They began to weep and wail.
Some offered flowers around it.
Left to rot in the sun for too long,
it gave off a strange smell that reached
the farthest end of the island.

The Igohang tribe of Ifugao
keeps their dead inside a nipa hut
by swathing them in blankets.
Bodies remarkably intact bonewise,
squat legs bowed, as when they found
Bayangan Limangya on a chair,
rigor mortis already setting in.
In November, when it gets cold,
they take out the desiccated bones
to warm in the sun, or let children
acquaint themselves with their elders.
Some say that Apo Anno,
revered mummy of Benguet
and thought to be son of a goddess,
had to drink Sabut Bit Sea
to preserve his body.

We watch this on the Internet.
Already, I feel you drifting away
as we fall by the wayside of love.
Your eyes scoping out the screen
to disinter clues to the occult.
Science has no answer for this yet.
We are still years and years behind.

I only believe this to be true:
You are salt and I am water
in this great sea surrendering.
Wherever you go, I follow.

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