Certainly doubt can be a refuge, especially when a ray of light is beyond my reach. Watch the sky cleanse itself of its wreckage while the acacia’s leaves are blown off, shriveled beneath its own twisted roots. The houses become a gaping wound of what was there that is now lost: a smile in some old photograph; the only mementos left are mangled limbs mistaken for branches. The world is littered with ruins. The world is a vessel of ruin; I am its witness. In every sip of coffee, in every cigarette, life persists, as the kites fly high near the river, as if there is still opulence, as if we are immune from grief. Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena currently lives in the Philippines. He spends most of his time on the road with his wife. Some of his works have already been published in Red River Review, the Camel Saloon, Eastlit, Off the Coast, the prose poem issue of Mascara Literary Review, the Philippines Free Press, Kabisdak, Philippines Graphic Magazine, the Blue Hour Magazine, the forthcoming issue of Kartika Review, the Bitter Oleander, the Fox Chase Review, and After the Pause. Selected by Michelle Peñaloza.