I was there again,
In the river where we used to play with my friends,
The water from the cave beside it was still clear,
But the river looked different.
I thought something strange had changed.
For the last years it was still playable,
We had even spent time soaking our bodies in it.
But now floating on it were crumpled toiletries,
empty beaten cans,
and rotten skins of coconut and pomelo.
From the bridge already rotten,
Naked children jumped off, just like we used to.
The splashing sound of water reached me,
But it doesn’t feel cool anymore.
I shuddered at the thought
of the water pinching my skin.
I woke up from my sleep
And took off my headphone,
Wishing I had a better dream.
Lee Ivy Acevedo is a student of creative writing at UP Mindanao.