Elise Ofilada is a student at the Ateneo Senior High School, and is the Editor-in-
Chief of its publication, Pugad Literary Folio. She was a fellow for Creative Writing
in Artswork 2016, and her work has appeared online, as well as local anthologies.
She lives in the Philippines.

So This Is Loneliness

long strand of curly black pubic hair, blocking water
from drain

& harvested

from a girl-like-field, some rice switched bones, and a muscle
where i let it grow out & grow past my thighs, past

my wet crevices, my indoor flesh, where i wanted, when i wanted
to twist it all back into a sweet, meaty bun

to eat, if i were starving, or perhaps, wanting, deprived from,
more than i should, then i could, braid myself

an extra limb.
wouldn't that be hilarious.


if a hand, it would stroke me, right between my shit pleasure slice.
if a leg, it would trudge through thrice as fast

the fuzz of green i keep mistaking for the forest, but is only
actually, a garden.

my garden.
i sit there, quiet sometimes.
my bushes

cut in the shape of a sagging
white dress.


i am a widower of sorts. divorced
from the prospect of growing old, whenever i hear your voice

calling, but it is not your voice

it is my mother's, and your mother's, and someone's mother's flowers
strewn over the aisle & beyond, the altar

& i catch

myself walking & walking & walking my third arm
guiding me by the pews while i am holding up, holding myself

together, the two other handsful of white and whiter,
present & future ash —


no? i am not crying. i am not gasping. the lights are still,
wherever you are.

look. we have made it. toweled ourselves dry.
the bathtub was only meant
to bleed kind.

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