Agape

After New World II (2020) by Angela Silva

Andrei Fuentebella

(Philippines)


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“Because the whole world before you is like a speck that tips the scales, and like a drop of morning dew that falls on the ground.” — Wisdom 11:22 

Blank cartridge paper. Rough. White. Heavy. You swirl the chemicals together in a bottle until you get the hue of chartreuse. In the dimness of the room, you place a smooth hand on your belly. It is instinct by now. Rubbing your large bump in a circular motion. Over and over as you wait. The man you still call your husband waits with you. I was born one month before Christmas. How much did I weigh? About 3 kilograms. A little thing. My New World. Though I was never your favourite. I tried to play my part well. Dressed up in outfits you saw through the glass. Mannequins from Zara girls. You lathered me teal green and turquoise. My darker blues resembled the texture of matte. Like the more eccentric performances of modern ballet. Most of the time though, I am in flecks of light gold. My tutu matches my garland of flowers. Under so many layers, I sometimes itch and sweat. Are you proud of me? The still life you once witnessed through the sonogram has grown longer limbs. I unfurl as ferns do. It is instinct by now. I flinch when you touch me. But in the mornings, I let you comb through my rust-coloured locks, still damp from a shower.

Andrei Fuentebella

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Andrei Fuentebella (they/them) is a 4th-year undergraduate student at De La Salle University-Manila, studying International Studies, major in Chinese Studies, and minor in Economic Studies. In 2022, they received their first national fellowship from the Silliman University National Writers Workshop. They are currently a poetry staffer of Malate Literary Folio and a poetry reader of Chestnut Review.

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