Butuan City in August
during wet season / I fold my body / into the back of a jeepney / observe the cumulonimbi / collecting in bushels / above / my head / here / you can feel / the rain before / the humid sky cracks / open its jaws / empty / or full or / empty / or full or / empty / or full / like the womb of the woman / sitting across from me / her eyes drifting over her own body / a wounded sunrise / she speaks of a man who / used to sleep with / a beer bottle under his pillow / and her next to it / a man who / followed the equator / halfway around the world / and left her with / fifty pesos / and a child /
I wonder how / it’s possible / for a woman to carry / her hollowness inside her / disguise it as / a fetus / let it bloom / swell / fester / until her skin breaks / open with the earth / after a typhoon / I want to ask her / if she still remembers the taste / of ripe mangoes / sticky and sweet against / her skin / or if they remind her too much of his / burning lips / of the vacancy in her body / I watch as she gives pesos to the jeepney driver / walks down a stretch of dirt highway / barefoot and splintering / until all I can see / is her faint silhouette / in the downpour
By Adriana Carter
Adriana Carter is a writer and high school senior at Academic Magnet High School. Her work has received a national gold medal from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. In addition, she was selected as a commended poet in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and has participated in the Adroit Journal’s summer mentorship program.