Sunday, December 12, 2010


By Miguel Paolo Celestial

It was after supper
when our family rode the tram
back to the city — to the streets
and the lights and to sleep.
I was at the window seat
pressing my head against the glass
as I usually did to look outside.

I saw you leaning against your window
your seat facing us
on your side of the tram.
You were gazing outside
the lights zooming past your eyes
stilled as if by the speed of the wind
and the blankness of uninterrupted light.
Then you looked at me
like a gaping hole

as if you understood
that after supper
walking out of the tavern
with music trailing our stride
under lamplights
I felt as empty as the streets.

And I wondered how much of it you saw
but you turned back to your window
and stared through the darkness.

The streetlamps stood still.

Published in Heights magazine, 2000
Translated into Filipino as 'Pasada', set to rhyme and meter

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