Death in the Afternoon

Mid-afternoon, a half-moon appears
In the east. It was on a Friday, this hour.
A lance below the heart confirmed the end
Of the man who declared, I am the light . . .

They all suddenly stopped moving,
The olive leaves. Around the thorn trees
The coarse winds have ceased, and nowhere
Are the sharp-edged shadows of three o’clock.

Heaven has changed to the color of soot,
Confusing time, overturning the real, as though
A sorrowful mystery is reversing everything and
Gloom is a cloak cast from underneath, from earth.

It’s because of the happening at the Place of the Skull,
The one foretold, a penultimate truth: The man
Is dead. On the third day, after the Sabbath,
Be ready to understand what is written.

Jose Marte Abueg
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