By Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo
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.