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In Apocalyptic Mood

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By AA PATAWARAN

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Do you know that Taal is a Decade Volcano, one of the world’s 16 volcanoes considered most dangerous on account of their history of destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas? Did you know that in 1754, Taal erupted for almost six months, burying four Batangas towns under ash and volcanic rocks?
On the day Taal Volcano erupted, after 42 years of a benign, if not idyllic, existence, Facebook reminded me of a poem, “Revelation,” that I wrote on Jan. 12, 2019. Apropos of the skies falling in streams of black dust, in view of the fish that in biblical proportions swam to their deaths, considering the thick film of ash, the color of dead skin, that covered everything, from the roofs of houses to the exteriors of cars, perhaps to the lining of our air passages and the souls of the mortally terrified, I decided on Jan. 13, 2020 to run this poem in this space.

So my world ended
Hurt by your radio silence
In return I muted all my distress signals
And wallowed in my own soundless pole shift
I found the antidote in the radioactive soup
There lay my Omega Point
At which, abandoning all dreams of you,
I evolved into the nightmares you left in the void
I saw the writing on the sandwich board
In which the Big Crunch appeared to me as the special
There and there I swallowed all my hope
Resolved to deny myself of all cravings for your presence
To the galactic wave I fed myself
Watching all my love flail in the sea of fire
I retreated beneath the gurgling of the river Styx
Determined to drown myself in the torments of oblivion
And so I lived when the world ended
Having lost the life that hungered for you
I surrendered to a more ghastly appetite
Only to find in my death a more ravenous desire to devour you
—“Revelation,” 12 January 2019

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