by Iñaquil Angelo Mangahas

Suppose they’re right, I’m indeed a sea dung,
Trying and failing not to sink.
Over months flapping swiftly, busting my lung,
Plying to rise to at least the trench’s brink.

This struggle to buoy, though, to whom do we offer?
Hell, the ocean accords us no solace or hope.
Each of us scrambling to breathe underwater,
Knowing survival is less to endure, more to cope.

Imagine the heft cruelty of gravity, pressure
Lest we absolve the forces weighing us down.
Living is resistance, in every measure —
I, like you, cannot afford to drown.

No matter we jade, then, to the surface we strive,
Go on, resist, never fear again the dive.
So we stay afloat; and stay human; and stay alive.