Translated from Filipino by Kristine Ong Muslim
This strikes at any hour, this is neither
the last nor the first: Again, here (the ascetic’s catch)
Yesterday, it was a bristling and shadowy wild cat.
Today, a white deer with chestnut-glazed antlers.
Extraordinary beasts, said
the peasant farmer. But far more extraordinary
is that rare wayward beast that ensnares
muttered by a blind hermit
also found by one in the forest.
He wipes away the sweat on his forehead
and gulps the remaining water in his canteen.
He swigs water, there is a deep
cut in his throat.