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Padre Faura Witnesses the Execution of Rizal

by Danton Remoto

1 I stand on the floor


2 Of the Ateneo Municipal,
3 Shivering
4 On this Decmeber morning,
5 Months ago,
6 Pepe came to me
7 In the Observatory
8 I thought we would talk
9 About the stars
10 That do not collide
11 In the sky,
12 Instead, he asked me about purgatory.
13 (His cheeks still ruddy.
14 From the sudden sun
15 After the bitter winters
16 In Europe.)
17 And on this day
18 With the year beginning to turn,
19 Salt stings my eyes.
20 I see Pepe,
21 A blur
22 Between the soldiers
23 With their Mausers raised
24 And the early mornings
25 Star:
26 Still shimmering
27 Even if millions of miles away,
28 The stars itself
29 Is already dead.