Fireflies – Johor, Malaysia

Tonight we are taking a journey
In search of brightness. We scramble
From the dock down a ladder that
Glistens with wet. Through mist
Odoriferous with salt and mud
We glide past mangrove sentinels
A shade darker than the ink-purple sky,
Their roots like tangled nets loosed
Upon the water.

“Fireflies!” The cry fades to
The hushed silence of prayer.
Fallen stars lace the branches
Of trees, bob on the riverbank,
And fill the night and the world
With hearts of lilac crystal.
One whirls on the floor of night
And lands on my palm. There it stays,
In the space of the stilled pause
Between breaths.

On the other side of the riverbank,
Beyond the twinkling trees,
There is a land where everything
Is illumined from within.
The ones I have loved and
Will love in the future,
Only you shall shine for me
On my last ride down-river
Like fireflies.


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