Passional

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By Ophelia A. Dimalanta

Wakes conjure in an uncanny pall,
A kind of sepulchral air evoking
Tombstones turned trysting chambers
For romancing late lovers freed
From life's containing vaults.

How she hates funerals,
This communal show
Of makeshift grief, as leaden
Feet shove mourners in, deader
Than the mourned dead,
The pale gloss of sympathy
Plastered on thicker than the
Expert's swab of simulated smile
Upon her own bemused face.

Here she flits around hovering
Over all, once and for all,
Up and about to watch them
Finally mourn her, (miss her?)
For once and then,
Be done, begone!
She is there, and not there,
In the box and everywhere else,
On the wing, her stilled heart
Sprung into the rhythm
Of muted life, a sentence
As purging as real grief,
And as forbearing, and life-giving.

II

They say this is the last to go,
This inward craze, this needling
Ache that starts below, and just
As soon mounts to breast to soul
In a ghostly spiritual surge;
This passion that fires the frame
In mighty thrusts of faith.
Residual spasms and spurts
Have not yet dissipated even
After the last throes, recalling body
As passional, pastoral site
In that sanctifying time out of time,
That one blessed space at once
Uplifted and emancipated.

The last to go they say,
These stirrings in the blood,
Going, going full force
And peaking into the
Final come.

God how she hates funerals
Except her own, that is,
For how exquisitely life's
Raging now attenuate
Into a warmer crave
That holds a universe.
The body shaken
Into prayer before it
Resurrects ecstatic
Into a longed for
Perfect calm.

Montage Vol. 10 • December 2006