I indulge in our overweight toddler
every time he runs all over
prone in bed as breakfast gets cold
because I can afford to get up late
because I’m unemployed and not looking for a job
as I married rich and not the one I (still) love
as I was raised a practical man.
Sometimes, I’m supine and it’s still a treat:
the light massage courtesy of his tottering feet
preferable to deliberate adult hands.
As long as he doesn’t step on my
One time, he stomped on what little is left
of my balls and I only scrunched my nose.
Used you and used to you.
The bough has long broken, the cradle has fallen,
and the baby runs
all over me.
I can and will commit this crime of omission daily.
Let him run amok all over me to his heart and soles’ content.
Now what if it’s the wheels of the bus (that) go round and round?
What if all this time,
it’s not this baby
who kneads me,
who needs me?
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Karlo Sevilla (he/him) of Quezon City, Philippines is the author of the poetry collections Metro Manila Mammal (Soma Publishing, 2018) and Outsourced! . . . (Revolt Magazine, 2021). Recognized among the Best of Kitaab 2018, shortlisted for the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2021, and thrice nominated for the Best of the Net, his poems appear in Philippines Graphic, Philippines Free Press, Don’t Submit!, Small Orange, DIAGRAM, Matter, Anti-Heroin Chic, Better Than Starbucks, COMPULSION PETAL (Empty Salon’s Summer 2022 anthology), and elsewhere. He is currently a student in the Associate in Arts program of the University of the Philippines Open University.