May 22, 2008

Nirwan Dewanto (4)


—after Hiroshi Sekine

Like a handkerchief
with one corner torn away
where it collided with the reef
a handkerchief now transparent
saturated with tears
that seeks eyes of truth
eyes that never ask
where their skeleton has gone
where the redness of their flesh.
In truth eyes like that
are the eyes of a master diver
who also knows that the fringes
of that wounded corner
are only ten in number
like her own fingers
fingers that have never been sharpened

by the thorns of the stars or the hair of the moon.
I think that those two will meet
on the broad expanse of algae
where the diver’s fingers bleed
and all those enemies with knife-sharp teeth
hunt them even to the base of a chasm.
I think that those two are competing
to reach the final line of a conclusion
but no, they are touching each other
even threading themselves together with no sense of shame
so that those twenty fingers
those twenty torn strips of the fringes
grow as wide as a wave
so that the body of the diver
becomes as clear as the morning air
and our little handkerchief no longer
swims, but takes flight
flying high in search of eyes
eyes glistening with tears
because they have no power to distinguish night
from black ink as wide as the sea
that drags the diver away from death.
I think now it is only a squid
that has taken form as a handkerchief
for it is always thirsty
for your eyes, for your tears.