by Jhio Jan Navarro

With windows shut

Branches turn to gallows
As nylon threads tangle to a noose
While I stare out towards the blur of kites
Caught in our ancestral acacia.

For a time, I saw them shook as if
Asphyxiated, struggling for air then
To and fro they shifted
With May’s cold breath.

Sure, some might be
Beyond repair, but
I have climbed many a times
Through the window before
Only to find many merely need
An unravelling of a knot,
A bend of a broomstick, if not
Time from calendar date.

Yet today,
Whether the bird about to perch shall
Sing a requiem or a lullaby and
Dance sweet La Jota or cry,

With eyes blurred and ears muffled
By a shard of hazy glass,

I can’t tell.

Why Kites Fall

Not because their tails
of plastic sando bags
are too short.

No, not because their wings
of calendar pages
have holes for dates.

No, not even because their spine
of broomsticks
are fractured in places.

Kites fall for the ceiling
is no sky and

the wind from the electric fan
was never meant to make them fly.

April’s Breath

Brings color and geometry
To the endlessly azure sky
Even as it does to the earth.

Pink kites, red kites, yellow kites, violet kites
And kites of calendar pages.
Square kites, diamond kites, round kites,
And kites of butterflies and birds.
By 4’oclock the heavens would mirror
Dear Grandma’s garden of most coveted
Flores de Mayo altar offerings.

But April breathed this year yet
Calendars lost not a page as
Broomsticks remained unbent and nylon strings
Remained tangled in knots.

In the garden, Lirios and Dahlias
Have grown leaves of dust as
Ants have made home
Out of Hibiscus and Bougainvillea pots.

For alas, last December’s cold breath –
the one that blew Grandma beyond
the flying kites – lingers.