Serenade behind a Floating Stage
My friend called and said that sex saved him. He made me listen
to streets in the Philippines waking up in rain, panes and trees
repeating a low note of C—chorister, cage, a choir captures
the cadenza of falling cardamoms, then a quartz of quietude.
So eventually, it was the Q—queer, he said, the parched skin
of the quarryman, whom he loved briefly for an afternoon.
For so long, we’ve mistaken the Q for C; weeping, he then recited
a passage of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, an odd, phonetic transcription
from the Tang dynasty. The power, he insisted, is in the sonance,
not in its meaning, its attachment. This persistent, desperate,
loud howl of August is but the insects’ thirst for mating
and survival. The naked nearness of a swimming pool pulses
in blue, so artificial it seems real. Wrongness: for years, my life
depends on a false letter, and as consequence, instead
of the quiet, a cry drills the carnage of my heart. Had I chosen
the path of Q, its hidden “you” might have entered me
with a silence, to which my heart would yield as the hollow
inside an oboe. The cicadas continue practicing deft mastery
of invisibility. I join their quartet. Where the moon streaks through,
the night makes a sound of fabric being torn inside my head.
Dark and huge, it is frightening to be alive with a song in you.