After Jim Morrison
Children are born navigators.
The have crossed torrid wetlands,
Slept in tombs full of water,
Made love with the dark
Before they open eyes and see
The mutiny of mundane days,
Waiting for the dying
Of their own innocence.
They seek manhood,
Enlightenment in a gun, as if
To bury the young years
Of questionings – what small
Desires do they attempt to know,
Maybe taste, to escape the sin
Of ignorance? After all,
To kill childhood is a ritual
Of cities mired of many unnamed
Deaths, countless for memory
To be exhumed. After all,
Children grow up to become
Men who go out on ships
And carry the womb of their mothers,
Shields from the dangerous initiations
Of a world unknown to sailors,
The beating heart of a lost jungle
Undiscovered, wilderness untamed.
To watch the placenta of evening stars,
Children of men would want
To drift off back to seas
They first knew of home.
Only now, the water has dried out
For them to swim, feel in relief
Lapping waves growing old
Trying to reach heaven, lest touch.
6 Aug 2019
This is a reprint of work originally published in Katitikan: Literary Journal of the Philippine South.
Ian Salvaña, 23, is currently doing his MA in Political Science at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria. He is formerly a faculty member of the Sociology Department of Ateneo de Davao University. He has attended several national literary workshops in the Philippines and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize by The Brown Orient. His works appeared or are forthcoming in various literary anthologies and journals, among them Universal Oneness: An Anthology of Magnum Opus Poems from around the World, Sustaining the Archipelago: An Anthology of Philippine Ecopoetry, Eunoia Review and New Contrast.