Driving Through The City On A Rainy Night and other poems by Karlo Sevilla

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Driving Through the City on a Rainy Night

Rain cascades down my windshield,
and the wipers are broken.
The city liquefies in pastel colors,
awash in shades of blue and gray.
Splotches of white and dim orange lights
bloom and proliferate in abandon before me:
a blurred night painting by Monet,
exhibited in industrial cold.
The downpour tints and carries
the all-too-familiar street onto the brink
torn between beguiling tranquility
and biting uncertainty.

Since You Left

I anthropomorphize
every skeleton
of every scrap metal
dumped in this junkyard,
inhale every lingering whiff
of every last (alcohol
or alcohol-free) breath
exhaled along the road.
And I’ve just sniffed
a child’s caked blood
and coughed out a strand
of a teddy bear’s fur.

I thought mine
was a minor violation.
You should’ve just
issued me a ticket.

I Dream of My Dead High School Classmate (Class of 1991)

We enjoy coffee after breakfast in a restaurant
of pastel red and bright yellow interior;
glass wall gleams in a beam of sunlight.

I ask him if he knows the date today;
he doesn’t answer.

Perhaps my way of reminding him
that he shouldn’t be here,
that he should be lying buried somewhere, or
that now he should be only ashes in a jar,
a year after he passed away.

Or maybe it was my way of coaxing him
to convince me that he’s really still alive.

I don’t know.

Anyway, thank God for dreams;
I got to spend another morning
with my classmate.

Karlo Sevilla of Quezon City is the author of the poetry collections “Metro Manila Mammal”(Soma Publishing, 2018) and “Recumbent” (forthcoming from 8Letters Bookstore and Publishing). Shortlisted for the 2021 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, his poems appear in Philippines Graphic, Black Bough Poetry, San Antonio Review,  Matter, and elsewhere. I tweet at @KarloSevilla2.

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