My Minor Exigencies

by Karlo Sevilla

An itch neurotic on my nape
nags for what it needs. Nails
uncut, my fingers oblige, pawns
of the mind that yields. In the cold
shower, the strong soap stings
the claw marks down my skin.
But it’s superficial. I’ll be fine
in an hour or two. Won’t deny me
sleep. Another epidermal irritation,
and I’d do it again. I look forward
to your warmth tonight. Won’t ask
where you’ve been. You know
that I take tenderness in lieu
of truth. Sometimes. Some nights.
When the body, not knowledge,
draws out my docile claws.


Karlo Sevilla, from Quezon City, Philippines, is the author of the full-length poetry collection, “Metro Manila Mammal” (Some Publishing, 2018), and the chapbook, “You” (Origami Poems Project, 2017). Twice nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, his poems appear or are forthcoming in Philippines Graphic, Ariel Chart, Thimble, Matter, Radius, detritus, Small Orange, and others. He currently studies for the Certificate in Literature and Creative Writing in Filipino program of the Center for Creative Writing of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and is a member of the Rat’s Ass Review online poetry workshop.


This poem previously appeared in Scarlet Leaf Review.

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