We take so much longer to come home

in the cavern of distant voices,

magnified as they echo and bounce

from one wall to another.

Each drop that comes from the folds

of the clouds

—drips from the night sky

and onto the asphalt below.

We lay naked,

for everyone to see.

Yet they close their eyes.

We whisper, bite our lips.

Quiet.

Make sure nothing is heard

but heavy breathing

—and it takes us too long to come

home, where only you and I can

let whispers hum and grow

loud enough to let our voices

be heard.

*Shishikura majors in AB Literature. Her poetry collection, which included the above poem, won her the Poem of the Year award in the 27th Gawad Ustetika under the pen name Mitsuko Kitagawa.

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