Mornings, you walked to your newspaper nook
and I gathered flowers in a vase. We met
at the table, awake and facing the porcelain cats.
I watered the orchids in their clay pots, careful
not to spill beyond the brim. The cacti doused
with measured water, the bonsai with sunlight.
Meanwhile, you hunted for car keys in drawers
that you kept open for hours, as I haunted
the wind seeping through the curtains.
The painting trembled on its frames. The trash
teetered over the edge. The microwave counted
down the time. And the refrigerator was cold.
The leaks were fixed, by work and not by magic.
When you opened the windowpane, it slapped you,
but I quickly pulled it shut, turning down the blinds.
The rest was evidence of each second passing.
Living was surviving each other, through time
and effort. It had context and was constant.
In many ways, we knew what was coming before it came
because news those days were foreboding. But love
kept us going like an old, gold grandfather clock.
Angela Gabrielle Fabunan was raised in New York City and lives in Manila. She currently attends the University of the Philippines MA Creative Writing program and teaches at the Technological Institute of the Philippines. In 2016, she was awarded the Carlos Palanca Memorial Foundation Awards for Poetry. Her work has appeared in Cordite Review, Asymptote Journal, Cha Journal, EastLit Magazine, Ink & Voices, New Asian Writing, and Contrary Magazine, among others. She is one of the current poetry editors at Inklette Magazine. Her first book of poetry, The Sea That Beckoned, is available from Platypus Press.