35: A Poem by Laksmi Pamuntjak

published in the Daily Star, 10 January 2015

There is never enough time for love as there is always a season
of regrets. And of rancor and make believe. It is not always understood,
though, such ironies, for like the movement of blue, or the flight
of birds, much depends on where you cast your far-flung gaze.
Here, especially, where memories tossed out to sea will find you
out again, even if this knowledge is the last thing you can ever be
certain of. One morning, for instance, you rounded up the cats,appraised them in order of grey as one would an anthology of
poetry, and felt you had accomplished something. Their benign
incomprehension mirrored the deep matted ink of pebbles flashing
from village corners as eyes to the world. Later you would see it again
in reflections of your own heart, dressed as the split second saffron
of the setting sun. You knew the drill, of course, but still couldn't
help the feeling, the way of a wilful comma that could, given the
necessary push, become an eternal period. Oh yes, since then there
are only afterthoughts. As of now you will gather nightfall the
way the lighthouse of Thira nets the winter's silver; you will
sweat the edges of the Aegean Sea for what they hold beyond their
own reserves; you will love love for love itself. But something of
memory's self-edits and the lone gull between which suspends
even the disbelief of the sky, and you are once more ruined, and
not so ruined, happy, and not so happy, the way most people
are in December. Come sunrise, the pinprick of time that will
nail you black on white, 3 and 5 to the yet-to-come, your body
feels neither heat nor hunger nor hoar. Only the serene astonishment
of having swum the epoch yet feeling unswum in, or something like it,
temperate and thus treacherous. Like blue silks threaded by medieval hands,
realizing they've expected everything yet nothing that can ever be.