Before me in this museum, Christ’s head lies molded
in fiberglass. Distant from bronze busts and portraits
exhibited around the room. Detached from his body
somewhere in Manila. There, metal drapes arranged
in irregular rectangles loom over visitors in mourning.
Here, they see what the sunlight chooses to obscure
from their eyes: the face of Christ in all its splendor;
cracks like wounds—bloodless, black; lips almost parted
perhaps for his final breath. Here, glass is molten,
sieved into a thick river of hair; crumpled into shrubs
forested on his chin; poured into the circles of his eyes
in perpetual fixation at the ceiling, searching for a light
not there. Lately I have found myself doing the same:
looking up, staring at an urban sky devoid of stars,
praying for holes to appear amidst the blackness of night.
When Christ ascended into heaven, did he see it then?
Light bursting from a fissure in the sky that opened
just for him. Often I imagine the same will happen to us.
Imagine the clouds breaking like ice, multiple crevasses
offering us a crossing. I used to think heaven could
be found right here; now I want gravity to reclaim
the layers upon layers of dust suspended in the air.
Want to claw at the sky’s emptiness, revealing
constellations bleeding, beckoning with light. Here,
in this museum, I look at Christ’s face in wonder:
wonder if he, too, thinks of what lies beyond the paint
and concrete; if, beyond the ceiling, he can picture it:
his body afloat, formless, shining in morning’s gleam;
if, beneath the mold, his eyes dilated with yearning.
Andre Aniñon is a poet, teacher, and medical technologist from Amlan, Negros Oriental in the Philippines. His work has appeared in Revolt Magazine and Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine. He is currently taking up his master's degree in public health at Silliman University, Dumaguete City.
The Ekphrastic Review
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