Science insists where salt goes
water follows, which accounts
for the distended body of
the beached whale found along
the coast of Camarines Sur.
When they split its carcass open,
a gush of plastic cups and salt
poured out. The townsfolk, thinking
it was of extraterrestrial origin,
mistook the beast for a fallen god.
They began to weep and wail.
Some offered flowers around it.
Left to rot in the sun for too long,
it gave off a strange smell that reached
the farthest end of the island.
Only in this version, it was the
opposite of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's
The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World
which is how I remember you when
you arrived that morning, all gangly and
unassuming, just the way you like it.
The sweet-stickiness of meringue
around your mouth. And when you pick
the stubble off your face, you are instantly
a child of ten years fumbling his way around.
I pick you up, fold you in my hand,
and put you in my pocket as a memento.
A hundred years from now, some
space-age scientists will hunt you
down for experimentation.
When they split you open to inspect
your insides, all they will find
is a mountain of crystallized salt.
And when they chip away
to the core, they will find me there
still clinging to you as a voice:
You are salt and I am water.
Wherever you go, I follow.
By Brylle B. TaboraQLRS Vol. 19 No. 4 Oct 2020