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.