From the gibbous moon (or in thought of Malay poetry)

Words

On the day before they met, they both looked up at the sky at exactly the same moment. But for one, the sky was a clean, bright cobalt blue; and for the other, a smoky grey night. The moon, with its constant face, was waxing gibbous, equally strange and magnificent.

One of them – let’s call them Pantun – calculated the probability of events through a precise method of laying stones in even squares. Each stone has its own place, even if adjustments are needed, and the one always spoke to the other in measured terms. The other one – let’s call them Sajak – followed the inexplicable path of dreams that felt like wing-trails of a butterfly, seeking something.

But both had the same question:

“What do you do when there is fire everywhere? Bursting under your skin, on the ground beneath your soles, in the air that enters your body?”

And they sought to find the truth in this question.

On the day that they met, it was like a collision. Things that were woven certain through the harsh terrain of time became like mud, like water. And they found themselves each inflected by the others’ rhythm. They were unsure if they should stay still, dance, or swim.

Since water and earth is the belly of life, they instead chose to plant a seed. And within the seed is a million years in every direction. They named the seed, Gurindam.

 

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