M Sereno

The exile, athirst

               after Ondoy, six years on

these are the days of monsoon: flood filling my mouth
with the memory of corpses. shapes swim through the walls,
syokoy, rain-streaked tikbalang, rats crunching on the bones of snakes.
oh this is the price of remembering, heat clinging to my bones across oceans,
storms shivering ribs to niyog splinters in the stillness of dry land. oh to be free
of typhoon, of the gutter clutch of fingers, the dark dream coming nightly
to squat on my chest; not trusting my knees to move through the sinking air
without tipping me over wet stone, the railings of bridges
seeking water, always water, rivers unsurfacing our bodies our faces
and the final taste of light.

M Sereno is a queer Filipina artist and writer who works in ink, watercolor, poetry, and sometimes–prose. Her poems have appeared in Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, Goblin Fruit, Uncanny, and Interfictions. She lives in regional Australia with her partner and two ridiculous Pomeranians. Find her online at @likhain (Twitter) and