THE breaking of light rings like sirens put on full blast, rousing the people from below in bewilderment. With their eyes inflamed and cushioned by wrinkles of exhaustion, they heave in defeat. Day has just began tapping her nails on the windowpane, and she continues to loom over their sleepless forms.
A Dirge loiters behind the clamor of coins in outstretched palms that glistens with oil and sweat. He listens to backseat conversations discussing missed alarms and boring meetings. He hides in engines with scraping metals and caged heat, before appearing when tires squeal their way past mazes of traffic. For him, Mondays mean more bodies and hearses.
His procession begins in a series of red and yellow. With every stop comes a new body; every turn a drop-off. The pavements shrink to pay their respects, but the hearses continue to be flooded with passengers.
The growing smoke and haze starts to sting weary eyes. Litanies begin pour in, and shouts for mercy echo the streets. Among the sea of clustered bodies, a woman clad in black cries, “I just want to get this over with.” She stares at the swaying rosary overhead, no longer able to draw strength among the bereaved.
No comfort came. They all had their own caskets to carry, and some are heavier than the others.
Once the shadows join the procession, Dirge can finally lead the sleepless and put the mourning to rest before midnight. F SOPHIA E. EUGENIO