My Kundiman

(after Patrick Rosal)

My kundiman is no swan song,
not yet. It has spoken, and decided:
this will be the year of the mother

and child reunion. I woke at dawn
just after the new year and thought,
no savings be damned: ten, fourteen

years and two continents make too long
a separation. And that song playing in my ear
goaded me on, pitched itself higher: Why not?

after all, you can’t take any of it with you when you go.
And so my kundiman took it apart for me, syllable
by syllable: Kung:: if di:: not man:: n/ever.

My kundiman asks: Do you get it yet? We don’t leave anyone
behind.
It knows what any real lover knows: that No is never
an acceptable answer; that as long as the beloved hungers

or thirsts, the heart is a ghost moon above fields
of unharvested grain, is the lit end of a cigar
burning its prayer into the roof of the mouth.

 

In response to Via Negativa: The day the music died.

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