When you become a veil
between the past and the present
through what you feel
and what you relate,
what allows the both to meet and perhaps heal
the psychic wound between them?
The trauma is visible
in the landscape of a buried story.
Twilight persuades the edges to fall away,
suddenly it is yesterday
and it seems nothing has changed.
But you know how it ends
as the sun bends over the Ko’olau rims
and dark begins to settle in
to the borders of our lives.
You feel compelled to tell it again,
at the foot of a mountainous urge
to speak the words by way of suggestion,
what lies behind the mist
as darkness lifts from where it was hidden.
It is gathering its powers again,
to squeeze the light into submission.
Every evening at about this time,
on the surface of the sea,
whole swaths sprawled bloody
as canoes are dragged ashore,
the sudden exile as the beach goers
gather apparel and drift away
from the longing waves and their approach.
Where nothing remains
save the shallow graves of footprints.
In time the crescent moon appears
as muffled sounds lend trickery to the ears.
The shadows of trees fill the park,
like the impression in the dark
of ghosts in your mind.
With no flashlight to guide,
with no distraction for your thoughts to reside,
you begin to imagine the walk, the stillness,
the ominous car parked in the corner of the eyes.
Soon there’s Kalapawai lit up with spaceship lights,
this haven feels like miles away
for those who play beyond the neighborhood curfew.
Waiting under the banyan at dead man’s curve,
a car swerves into view
with faces pressed against the glass,
you blink your eyes tightly
to see if this image lasts
of the helpless who pass into the wind
of leaves dragged behind machines.
It quiets down, you blink, and there it is again
as if on repeat
in the dark corridors of stone wall and tropical branch,
this proto projector permitting an obscured glance
of the fleeting macabre dance
of the hopelessly unsettled past.