Unpunished Shadows

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Contributor: Jun Lit

- -
I know you’re there, and there’s no sense
in trying to explain the unexplained.
It just sets in, seeps in, like a ghostly presence,
just outside the door but not knocking,
just waiting for the door to open
and I knew the door was like a lid
of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus -
no lock but only I got that key,
no knob but boulders heavily seal it.
A mummy lies inside, tied, bound -
the face shown in the burial mask
is not the rotten cheek and bone
and leathered skin within.

You prophesy the end of days
- times when the tired Sun would insist
that it prefers to shine in the West and not in the East
or the ambitious Moon stealing scenes
and photobombing the stars, it seems.

The hermit of a physicist argues -
No work is done without displacement.
The spiritist turned alchemist proposes -
Solve problems with corrosive solutions.
And presto!
All clogs of mental pipes go!

The soul-less pastor raises the cup
that apathy filled with martyrs’ blood.
The faithful then partake of the eucharist,
sanctified by the butcher’s bullets that pierced
the hearts of innocent kids and maligned priests.

We then offer each other the sign of sinful impunity,
for peace is a lie, when blind loyalty breathes tyranny.

- - -
Jun Lit (Ireneo L. Lit, Jr.) teaches biology and studies insects at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and writes poems about nature, people, and society


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