Kundiman

Here I am trying to remember the name
of a song my mother was learning to sing
—in the evenings she’d ask me to play
accompaniment on the piano: a kundiman,
kung hindi man, if only, if not, if never,
song of always unrequited love, this one
about a lover on his deathbed, pining
only for one last sight of the beloved.
Does it end well? Lyrically, none of them do.
Musically, the voice is a triumph as it scales
the walls of growing sorrow. She will not look.
She will give her heart to another. She will not
be made to love under duress. The moon will float
above it all, its face streaked ash and silver.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Moss gatherer.

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