December 1, 2023

My family and I have walked a thousand country miles just to watch the bird’s pirouette in the summer sky. It was launched upon bitter green apples and fermented mangoes where my cousins and I used to nap beneath the hot, luminous sun gazing upon us. I quenched my thirst with melodious silver spring water and skipped stones across the plaza’s lake. A festive time where we can play all day and sing songs of praise for another bountiful harvest. I’ve immortalized poets against the echoing granite walls of time, for I don’t want this day to end. In bare feet, I danced in verdant green meadows with my friends as they told a story about our village full of green carpets and a bottomless valley. I bid a dying tree farewell by tracing my fingertips over its gnarled grooves. I prayed that it would be reborn and celebrate this day with us as a new green tree dancing in the breeze of the wind.
I bathed in babbling brooks that giggled at my nakedness and dried myself in the wispy autumn winds. I squeezed sunsets between my forefinger and thumb on mountaintops, then slowly opened them to reveal the shimmering glow of a new moon. If you only see me during that amazing day, you will laugh with the rocks I’ve stepped upon. I slept under a canopy of worlds, composing my dreams against the shimmering stars, and created wet sandcastles fit for kings on foreign shores, only to be devoured by the ravenous waves. The sea talked to me, welcoming me with fireworks above the horizon – a blissful sight to behold. The tumbling verse was composed under cascading waterfalls while angelfish nibbled on my fallen metaphors. In this picturesque island, I flew kites built from forest reeds and palms until they were swallowed by drifting winter clouds.
All these memories flash between my reverie as I lay in this white bed while fluorescent lights begin to fade. I heard the man in a white suit as he mentioned that I caught the flu, a deadly contagious one which made me frightened but not surprised. As I close my eyes, I see the waves calling me, the stars are whispering, and the festive bliss awaits me. But the crimson light coming from the man in the suit was restraining me from enjoying thee. He took a last look with his penlight, forcing me to open my eyes. The fluorescent lights were blurring my vision of the birds flying and the masks were very suffocating. Even the dextrose and many more wires attached from some machine made me contemplate the quaint yet refreshing times when one as myself can dance barefooted as an aeolian breeze brushes through my cheeks. To return to that momentous moment awaits me, and a thousand more miles beneath my feet before this life is drawn complete. I decided to yield to the vivid scenery. I closed my eyes, and the colors of life and the festive blissful sight exploded beneath my lids. (JEMALYN G. TABERDO)