Flood (Angelo V. Suarez)

by Abner Dormiendo

We have become estranged, you and I,
as the stars no longer find the asphalt-gray
of streets, the somnolent moon your skin,
the sun the sibilance of speech. How we tremble
now at the slightest hint of touch, the latch
of our desires reopening like a wound.

Watch me now as I say: In September’s
resolute rains, you are water — fragments
descending as drops from Manila’s urban sky.
Thus, you are everywhere, dripping down walls
and sliding off roofs, filling every crease of road
and crevice of soil. And on the rise of flood

floats the carcass of memory, taking
the muddied form of muck, filthy plastic bags,
venomous piss of rat. In this metropolitan marsh
where nothing is left but a squalid sight of swamps,
soggy lampposts, the third-world remnants
of a storm, I dip my hands and dream of fish.