The city only heals if it rains.
Calm, still, quiet: an afterthought.
Lights will illuminate the battered

skins of roads, pedestrian stripes
losing its mundaneness, praying
for the last sole to press on

its body. The vehicles are the first
to go, then stores, leaving empty
rooms, empty floors, empty buildings,

unreachable from the water. It must
be that the city only heals if the rain
a lover of the sky bathes its bed,

the temporary freckled blanket
overlooking the stars, a cemetery
of cemented highways, bridges,

canals busy with their own dying.
Somewhere far away from here,
In Apo, its tongue cleansing

fallen leaves, the city must be
healing in peace, an abandoned
joy, lips aghast in shower, touching

the palms of the wind as if freely
devoid of all those that forget why
the city is a city. It will hum now

as the sky?s ash canvas slowly blinds,
creases in black, watching passersby
curse, hairs drenched from the cold

spring of heaven, and one by one
they?re gone. The next time it pours,
hear in silence the city?s breathing.

By Ian Salvaña

Ian Salvaña finished his Bachelor of Arts (AB) in Political Science and is currently doing his MA in Development Studies at the Ateneo de Davao University. His works have been published or are forthcoming in The Brown Orient, Eunoia Review, Sustaining the Archipelago: An Anthology of Philippine Ecopoetry, and other journals and anthologies. He is a fellow to the Ateneo National Writers Workshop, the Davao Writers Workshop, and the Ateneo de Davao Summer Writers Workshop.

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