Meruem. That heartless Chimera Ant King.
Devouring fighters for Nen. A meat orchard of his guards’ bodies.
Impaling children. A sore loser
murdering unwilling Gungi opponents when defeated.
What a spoiled, self-centered traitor. I wish you were gone,
I screamed at the screen.
I’d written the same thing
in my journals, under “Dear Papa”.
Selfish people deserve no redemption, I thought,
and I had nothing good to say about
- a stranger who only shows up twice in a kid’s life to drink beer
with her stepfather and to feed her fries for two hours
before abandoning her again
Tenderness cuts me open
when I see a heart aching to follow a dying love.
When Komugi chose to follow Meruem to the death,
his poisoned green body humbled by endings,
I saw Papa in a coffin again, surrounded by weeping wives
and half-siblings I met for the first time.
Once again, my tears knew better than seeing in black and white.
Once again asking, Isn’t it strange how compassion swoops in
at the last minute
to save us
from our bitter poisons, our slow death?
Gretchen is a writer of poems and creative nonfiction. Her work appears in Rappler, Philippines Free Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, Rejection Lit, Maudlin House, Janus Literary, and elsewhere. She resides in the Philippines with her daughter, kooky cats, and dogs. Say hi on Twitter @gretchenfilart, on Instagram @ourworldinwords_, or on her website, ourworldinwords.com.