I let those little green trunks of asparagus
die from too much water
And when I finally had the courage
and mindfulness to say something,
the sulterito vanished into the clinic

Maybe tomorrow I could finally
explain to him the conundrum of thirst—
How similar we are to little stems of thorns
Guilty of thirst at only the most desperate second,
hiding behind thick-skinned carcasses,
knowing at once we will be brought
back to light after being parched.

The sulterito came back the next day,
the little green creatures with their soil wet
and my panic conjuring an image of their death.
I know exactly how it feels to see a plant die.
The last time, it grew too big until it cut its stem off
And its roots, unfixed itself from the soil,
yearning to escape and walk above ground

One moment after, it is still alive,
And then gone in a flash of sunlight to your eyes.

About the author

Floraime O. Pantaleta

Nagsusulat siya sa Chavacano at Ingles at minsan, sa Filipino at Sebuano. Nag-aral ng Literature at Linguistics sa Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Kasalukuyan siyang nagpapakadalubhasa sa Ateneo de Zamboanga.

By Floraime O. Pantaleta