Saturday, August 21, 2010

Buried Without Honor

(photograph by Bubuy Balangue)

Of this I am certain: He is a man, because only a man can be so sweet and cruel.

He has thick curtains of dark lashes that frame and soften his scorching gaze. Light and shadow play along the planes beneath his cheekbones, rendering a rare smile sinister rather than engaging. His skin is dark, like thick syrup; it is rich and alive and one can almost smell it. It smells of sweat and smoke and not entirely unpleasant. He looks exactly like the devil.

We have never met but, as sure as after joy comes pain, I know our paths are meant to cross. We may have brushed past each other on few occasions, maybe even touched. The fingers would have been unsure, and would have pulled back quickly. Our eyes may have met, betraying no recognition, lingering just a moment in acknowledgment. It would have been enough.

More than anyone else, he would know my thoughts, virtues and motivations. He may have watched, from a distance, as I slogged along suffused in sadness and guilt. Guilt claims one's soul, and he should have recognized me. I know I reeked of misery and he could taste my weakness. I know. But he would not have called to me, because he is cruel and he would have wanted me to suffer.

I find comfort, even strength, in knowing that he is out there somewhere, waiting. He will come to me, and I, to him. And there will be no more waiting.

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