I murmur an apology to the skull in my hand,
no lighter than a handful of pesos.
The curve of its beak winds into a low note,
a soulful whistle that carries me to a graveyard
where I writhe under the soil.
Schoolboys place me on the end of a twig,
confines me in a box with a spider.
I am no lighter than an eyelash on the cheek
of a wailing daughter, dead mother, dead father
dead everyone, this is a festival of carcasses
Where in the sky forms a beak of its own,
it raises its head to hammer its mouth back down.
Poisonous rainwater and whipping wind,
I think I hear an apology in its zapping too
It says, carry me to Eden on a Sunday evening
where the moths bounce around a dimly lit bulb
in the backyard of your childhood home.
Dogs’ full bellies exposed and frogs dancing
a cotillion of lucky escapes.
At this point I think of my own skull
crushed or ground or fed to a salivating mouth
Would I concern myself then, of forgiveness?
My eyes a glassy mush, a skull void of purpose
What is there to shield against once the head rolls away?
The blades of grass open a mouth,
always a form of hunger to be satiated
My body becomes host today, and my head,
a blasphemy of some verse in a holy book
My murder is nothing but a color,
easily dismissed as a broken crayon.
Nothing but the earth mourns me and
I find myself rolling off to sleep, my mind in sepia
I think about all the dead chickens
and that I am a tick and a tock away
from having my own head crushed.
This literary piece is part of Katitikan Issue 4: Queer Writing.