Golden shower, what else to call it, a cloudless sunny rain,
prime suspect. Inang blames it for nits she picks on my head
with fingers shaped into a hen’s sharp beak

and sown on the primer, my handwriting, a brow-knitting scrawl.
Sick of studying, I drum my fingers on the veranda railing

like rain pellets to the rhythm of her clucking: Don’t you dare
barok. Everything it touches turns to gold.

In the open field closed to boys the color of nits, I spot
my neighbors chasing a rainbow pulled by the weight
of a thousand golden dragonflies,

their naked pubescence still a dark leathery carabao skin.

I want the untimely ripening of guavas and kaimitos. I want
to unburden their boughs from hearsay and take the brunt:
Hinog sa araw, anak-araw.

Many years later those nits of a stubborn innocence hatched
into a life like an upturned face, awaiting remission

from a dark phallus masquerading a front, its sheen
golden as shit. Its uprightness always an accusing finger,
pointing the blame back at me.

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