It begins as a thread,
a voice lost above the descant of water.
We stop what we are doing in the kitchen
and lean toward the window, look out
where frozen trees rasp in the wind.
A wingbeat carrying
the gathered sound of a hundred things.
I think of a song I once heard about
a dictator, and the man he made to scrape
the strings of a fiddle with his fingernails.
Last night’s icicles
glint like daggers from the eaves.
One for each tiny hair that prickles on your nape:
count them if you can, then sing along— bodies in the river,
bodies sighing under a blanket of grass.
—Luisa A. Igloria
(for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre; and for all who have gone missing, or have suffered and perished, from any form of state or political repression)
In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.