Sixteen. I went home from a concert drunk on alcohol, but mostly on pain. During the concert, N looked at a woman in the audience and said, “I love you!”.
The next morning, I woke up to small footsteps running beneath Kuya Charlie’s house, where we stayed for the night. Everyone else was still sound asleep from last night’s rum. Cattle and monkey bones, hung on the ceiling for protection and luck, chimed softly against the cold air.
The world seemed so big from here. Here, where rice and coffee are consumed fresh from terraces, and life is stripped of technology and schedules. I lift my arms, examining the red, swollen skin around them. This, along with the long, dented incision trailing down my navel from where my daughter came, is not ashamed of itself.