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.