The world is woven in a haze
thinner than white,
cloaking this bay of people

who have finally learned to wait.
An idol, eternally squatting, stares
out the window of a divine sorrow.

The instance between fog and rain
dangles on the tip of my tongue.
Such precipitation is of foreign
water, I can only guess what to call it.

Here, bravery is moving against
a fury of wind. My stumbling footwork
is an effort to lose you in holy land,

yet my utterances made during
a loss of warmth always graze
the shape of your name.

Jose Luis Pablo or “Nico” is a poet and a communications manager for a non-profit. Their work has been published in “Likhaan: The Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature”, “Cordite Poetry Review” (Australia), “My Gay Eye” (Germany), “Busilak: New LGBTQ+ poetry from the Philippines” (University of the Philippines Press), “The Pinch”(USA), and elsewhere, as detailed in Nico was awarded by the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2018 and was a finalist for the 2020 Peseroff Poetry Prize. They are based in Rizal, Philippines.