Zip Code 9005



The night rushes to end, if as in a hurry
no traffic could pause. Minimum wagers
all sit jammed next to each other,
like canned sardines; the vehicle, too, is part tin
or is it aluminum? In this twenty-peso ride
roaring to life, the silenced part between what’s budots
and the sweaty slumber is all they end up with.
Is it still JaDine’s timeslot on TV?
Or is it Boy Abunda’s turn for gabfest? The millenials ask
as the ancients are left on the AM frequency.
Lined up sitting in cellophane-covered foams,
they pass on calloused hands some coined currencies,
which must’ve been worth a tenth of a day’s work.
One by one, they go down, each to his own route—
now by foot, reciting muted prayers—or wretched whims?—
petitioning to deaf divinities,
pleading for better days.







that in the ride from my town
of a century church to you, my east,
dusk will surge the calm:
no road paints, no streetlights.
the profanities of your drivers
and passengers in between car lanes
adding to techno,
repetitions of some inborn woe.
your neighbor’s houses
with shackled sides,
the roofs slouching,
lethargic like the cogon grasses
of your summits and the lambagu trees
of your shores, where once,
your ancient folks dreamed
of a crustacean and a golden fishing net.
your dusty town of ancestral houses
faded from the hues
of its nonexistent traffic light
like your once-baby brother’s toys
dropped somewhere
in your backyard, a few spits
from your animal farm, and left out
in the sun for the grasslands
of your years.
that once, in the same sheet of sky
set in a Bacardi-soaked seaside
teemed with the drunk-and-high,
nonchalance was feigned.


the untold as I offer you silence.
Let us feast.