by Angelo Allito
Inside the cheap can
lies a tomato sea, home
to you- headless corpses squeezed
together, perpetually floating.
I open your twenty-three peso prison and
out you come, finally seeing sunshine
after an eternity of staring
at the cruel, shut-tight lid.
Uncanned, you now sit
on top of my overcooked
hills of rice, still drizzled
by viscous orange ooze.
I look at your humble image and
think- Poor sardines! Scooped up
from the majestic blue then shoved
into a steel cage, only to end up on
a plastic plate as a poor man’s lunch.
But your fate is one I understand,
one I’ve had to live through.
I’ve also been scooped from one sea
to the next, one hometown to another.
I’ve moved on from countless ambitions,
bid goodbye to a thousand childish dreams.
I have bloomed into an unripe writer,
afraid of the seas I sail across,
the wrecking waves of real life.
And so I keep myself in a steel can,
just like you, you miserable can of fish.
I look at you again and now I see myself,
suffocating inside the narrow walls I built,
forever drowning in the restless ocean hidden
deep inside my head.
But maybe, just like you,
I’ll soon see sunshine too.
Maybe, just maybe.