Coming here barefoot, my soles fully
imprint on the surface of moist soil, resonating
with the warmest sunset tones of Manila Bay.
Somewhere, a sponge is aching as it absorbs
everything like ears collecting the muffled sounds
that go past the tree-lined street.
A day ends. I continue to ache, too,
in splinters, in learning to unlatch
my embrace from a narra tree before the cutting.
This morning, at home, I made an offering to the sink drain—
crumbs of what grew in and what roamed the earth.
In the kitchenette, an answer fell on my nape.
King Llanza (he/they) is from the Philippines. He was a finalist for the 2021 Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize. His poems have appeared in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, SAND Journal, and Cordite Poetry Review, among others. King holds a MSc in Environmental Science and Ecosystem Management.