Maëlle Valantin_for Baena


Breaths are slower, and nobody climbs mountains
just to hear a song. Creaking doors are ubiquitous,
as well as stains in the statues of saints in churches,
birds shit and grave faces. How do you welcome
epiphanies? Please tell me. An open window
is not enough for a mouth full of ruins. Of course,
the light inhabits each space but the world remains
anemic. I am not sure if I read the signs properly.
The end is not yet near. The herons are still flying
out of the mangrove forests. People are curious
about God. It is obvious. Heaven is unaware of
its own deficiencies when it deals with sinners.
Every plague is a phenomenon as the silence
I prefer after the rain. Aside from doing nothing,
I begin my day by rubbing these bloodshot eyes
of mine before I stare at the hues reflected
in the surface of a cracked mirror, then roam
the entire city and come home with its embers.
I remember the dead. Sometimes I feel their
presence in the crow of roosters. Mornings are
gloomy. I assure you, nobody walks on water.

About the Author: Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena currently lives in the Philippines. He spends most of his time on the road with his wife. Some of his works have already been published in The James Franco ReviewOff the CoastAfter the PauseEastlit, Mascara Literary ReviewThe Blue Hour MagazinePhilippines Free PressRed River Review, the forthcoming issue of The Bitter Oleander, The East Bay Review, and The Fox Chase Review.

Artwork: Maëlle Valantin