“lulubog, lilitaw”, which translates to “sink, float”.
Once, far from my city, there was an island, and then there wasn’t, and then there was an island. This morning, my house was in the city, and then the city lost it. From the bridge, I could see the edge of the river, and then I couldn’t, and every dog was barking outside, until they just weren’t. Between there and not, I was rowing a boat to the island that is and isn’t, looking for dolphins. But wild animals know better than to stay around the morning after a storm. All the time, water stretched around me. I remember thinking the sun is unbelievable and soon, this island will be. I dug an oar into water and hoped for sand, for mud, for the new edge of a new river. I passed the island because it wasn’t, and I passed my house. Every wild animal passed me: dolphins, and barking dogs, and one carabao after another. After that: unidentified clutter. Once, I had a future. Today, I have an oar and in my mind, an island. I don’t know the difference between high tide and low, only now and after. I keep wading for my house, far from the lost edge of a river that isn’t. In my mind, my city loses one house after another, which means I’m almost not alone, flung so far into the water that all the time, stretches around me. From my boat, there is an island, and I am close to it. Wading near the edge of the world, I am close to it.