(c) Suzi Kim – Unsplash
Falling to Death by a Thousand Bumps
Atop the mountain, you try to be cerebral and scientific about it: It’s just your hormones unleashed and running wild again; beauty is culturally determined, and if you belong to another culture, in another place and time, you’ll just shrug off those eyes and smile. But your nerves have betrayed you: You tremble to the core, your otherwise steady knees buckle, your foot slips and now it’s a free fall! Your back smashes against the first protrusion and you break your spine. On the 500th crash down the slope, your ribcage and pelvis are totally crushed. On the penultimate rock ten feet from the bottom, you crack whatever is left to crack of your skull. Next second, splat on the valley as dust rises in a frenzy around your mangled and profusely bleeding body. Finally, in love.
Bio: Karlo Sevilla of Quezon City, Philippines is the author of the full-length poetry collection “Metro Manila Mammal” (Soma Publishing, 2018). Recognized among the Best of Kitaab 2018 and shortlisted for the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2021, his poems appear in Philippines Graphic, Philippines Free Press, Fevers of the Mind, DIAGRAM, Black Bough Poetry, and elsewhere.