NOLI ME TANGERE – Mariel Alonzo

 

Noli Me Tangere- by Saanya Chopra.JPG

John 20:17

in a rural mass, a deaf woman

sitting on a pew answers the catechism

withbabbles.

 

vowelsexpand rounding with air, but does not

sever from her throat. no matterhow deep

the wind fists, her drumswon’t sound.

 

how the tongue could only touch

as much as it has touched

 

her sins extra-terrestrial.

 

***

 

on a faded banig,a blind man makes love

withwhat feels like a sister after twelve

years of loving a wife.

 

by their bedside, a harem of black ants

removes the raised limbs

of a fly in the greatest act of falling

 

apart, he whispers

you’re beautiful in her ear and she

cannot hear, but believes.

 

***

 

she cannot hear the Father who touches her

forehead, drawing a black cross

 

then taking that sacrifice

to his lips as he kisses her

 

like a child.she professes her love yet he hears

amenand all is forgiven. her fist

 

clenching a rosary, ash of palms burying

in her neck while he, like a child

 

bit and bit. amen and amen.

 

***

 

she professed her love and he believes –

thereare no creatures as forever as colour

 

no animal as colourless than her

 

even when she made love

with another, there is a place

 

darker than this that the light

hasn’t reached. why stand blocking

taking in every stray

­­­

fahrenheit, when they can lay

untouched, side by side?

 

 

*noli me tangere– ‘touch me not’

**banig – handwoven mat

 

Mariel Alonzo is an emerging Filipina poet and an undergraduate student of Psychology in the Ateneo de Davao University. Recently, she was shortlisted for the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize judged by Hannah Lowe and was a finalist for the 2015 Winter Tangerine Review Poetry Competition judged by Ocean Vuong. She is currently a poetry reader for the U.S. -based “The Adroit Journal” and a humanitarian blogger for Association of World Citizens Youth.