[cw: sexual references]

Utin, Or Not An Ode to His Dick Pic

by Alton Melvar M. Dapanas

Utin, (n.) Cebuano Binisaya for penis

This time, you mouth the word in a name as if sucking candy, or fruit—endo-labial, upper lip and lower lip synchronized—and juicing all the way in. Given that it tastes like sweaty bland fingers, given that up-down, up-down is tiring. And then, and then, borderline dental and alveolar, tip of the tongue against alveolar ridge, all the while the velum waits. Given that this is a stranger you met over Grindr, given that you have mistaken his beard as someone else’s and that he wants it bareback. Gag reflex, chupa, apuch, dick pic, tulos, werlos, other words you mouthed only to refer to foreskin revealing glans and veins, taste buds on scrotum and precum. Given that your ancestors, tattooed warriors, moon-worshippers, pintados of the southern seas, must have once thought of this before coming, invading the lands of mountain-dwellers. What’s in a name?, wrote the gay bard. We’re all corpses in the making. Elsewhere, you know they need not come; already, he need not.


Alton Melvar M Dapanas (them/they) is assistant creative nonfiction editor of London-based Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel and Iowa-based Atlas and Alice Literary Magazineas well as an editorial reader for Creative Nonfiction magazine. They identify as pansexual, nonbinary, and polyamorous. Living off-the-grid since late 2019, they have been based in Siargao Island in the Philippine South, in between the Pacific Ocean and a mountain range.