Three Poems

By Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo

Non-patient care

Tubed to oxygen
In parking lots, under skies
Clotted white with clouds.

Long after wind

The bamboo can’t help
Bending to wind then rising
To fill its absence.

Myanmar to Manila

One of us clenches a fist overhead, the other keeps
tugging at mask loops. Asleep, laughing

as if in the fashion of those who smoke in toilets,
would rather drink after the friends have

departed. Disappearance isn’t cleanliness,

muy limpio being the issue here:
the type who shies away from of rice and tuna
packed together in ice bags, frozen

along vacillating lines of that undisclosed festival. Desiring
only the heat of the sun, wholly to be pebble
alone in the ranks, hugging such tremors.

One of us will grow weary,
the other insisting
on numerous slumbers, a neighboring dream.

Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo teaches a course called “Science and Technology in Literature” at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He blogs at tekstong bopis.

These pieces draw from certain issues as COVID cases spiked in the Philippines, mainly: abuses of authority, the perils of lockdowns to mental health, poverty, and the better offerings of memory (and hope) that one almost immediately rejects in order to adapt completely to the situation.

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gila
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gila
3 months ago

The two haiku selections are so moving to me.
The bamboo poem teaches us about life and its inexorable action-reaction cycle, which is comforting amidst our uncertainty. Thanks for using this haiku format to speak truth, poetically.

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