Spotted two days late after the fateful slip;
barely breathing with only its head above
the dark mud that pulls it deeper and deeper.
And for two more days the rescuers try to drag out
the grey giant with ropes — to no avail.
Then, they use heavy equipment but the tractor
soon slides down and likewise gets stuck into the mud.
After an hour, the rangers manage to forcibly extricate
the steel behemoth and four more hours under the rain
they finally liberate the other one of flesh and bone.
Too weak to stand, they lay it on its side on the wet grass.
Provide food and water to the completely exhausted.
By dusk, the downpour relents and slowly the freed
staggers to stand one leg at a time . . . and walks away.
Sometimes, an elephant. Oftentimes, a human heart.
Karlo Sevilla from Quezon City, Philippines is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Metro Manila Mammal (Soma Publishing, 2018), and the chapbook, You (Origami Poems Project, 2017). Thrice nominated for the Best of the Net, his poems appear in Philippines Graphic, The Daily Drunk, Little Old Lady Comedy, Anti-Heroin Chic, Duck Duck Mongoose Magazine, DED Poetry, and others.