For our 58th fight, we holed up in the library in your grandmother’s house.
I forget what the fight was about — American politics, drugs, an ex-boyfriend — but the end result was this: you refused to let me talk you out of your bad mood, so I, impatient and pissed, decided to leave.
As I let myself out the door you handed me an umbrella.
Rain, you said. Wait for it to stop.
Three things happened when I walked away: my blouse got wet, my shorts dripped, and my sandals flooded.
But I forged on, past the block of drug addicts, the empty lot where that 10-year-old was raped. I was not scared.
I am only brave enough for little things. Death never quite scared me; not airplane crashes or snake venom. A knife to my back, bare hands on my neck, threatening whispers in my ear — that’s stuff newspapers and movies are made of.
But you embryo me in sleep, sweaty like a day before the rain. My body curves to yours.
It changes me, this love. I start to fear earthquakes, the same way I do car accidents and other women. I start looking for scars on your back. I want to stay at home and say nothing to strangers I meet, because they understand nothing.
I curl up inside your stomach, even while I bang my head against your chest repeatedly. I am a coward in fights. I am just brave enough to walk Manila’s flooded streets, just brave enough to look back, to see you there.