One summer we hiked to my grandfather’s farm. Ninety degrees in the shade, sandaled
feet stumbling in carabao dung. I did my best to look as if I knew how to live.
Five days a week I used to teach in the capital, six hours from home. Riding the midnight
bus, I saw families huddled in sleep by the underpass; how was this a way to live?
Every now and then I’ll remember something with a start, like fruit I had in childhood.
Bell-shaped macopa: red skin, cool, spongy hearts. Their taste, hard to re-live.
A cross between indigo and purple— this is the star apple’s signature. A five-
fingered flower, pulp thick and sweet, encasing the seed that might live.
The waiter brings my usual bowl of noodles in clear broth, a pair of battered shrimp.
For the umpteenth time I tell him: soup spoon, not ladle— the mouth’s hinges would give!
I love the way light moves across surfaces: the floor beneath the bay becoming
honey, water rippling itself and what holds it in. A window’s essential, to live.
In a darkened room I stretch out and practice: slow down my breathing, arrange arms
straight by my sides. Imagine how cells quit movement, the compulsion to live.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.