Two Figures on a Boat

The Manunggul Jar, the oldest man-made artifact of the Philippines was found in Lipuun Cave, Palawan

Carved atop the clay lid of a burial jar.
The dead at the bow, arms folded over
his chest; the paddler, deliverer of souls,
at the stern. They wear the same mourning
air: the excavated sandsoil mouth of the boat.
From cave-gloom to sunlight to museum light,
solemn sojourners have not found heaven. This
second funeral: the remains remain Neolithic.
They ride the curvilinear waves of hematite.
Water distances and bridges the afterlife.

 

by Joseph O. Legaspi

 

From Cagibi Issue 2: Three Poems by Joseph O. Legaspi

 

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Joseph O. Legaspi is the author of the poetry collections Threshold and Imago, both from CavanKerry Press; and three chapbooks: Postcards (Ghost Bird Press), Aviary, Bestiary (Organic Weapon Arts), and Subways (Thrush Press). Recent works have appeared in POETRY, New England Review, World Literature Today, Beloit Poetry Journal, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day. He co-founded Kundiman (www.kundiman.org), a non-profit organization serving generations of Asian American writers and readers.

Author photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths.

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