This Saturday Of Our Salvation

(For Salve, Gigi, Rose, Mervin, & Efren)

We vowed not to sabotage

The rain-soaked sun

In this Saturday

Of our meeting again.

The six of us promised each other

This panacea to a grand lie

We would not submit to:

A pot luck of joy and sorrow

In the sundown light

On the 5th and Normandy.

And then the many remarks

On the past, witty and sarcastic,

To redefine the bile and venom

In the sad secrets

We have kept to ourselves

For so long.

And then lots of hearts

And then lots of laughter

To lead us back to where we are.

There, in the innocent nook

Of an apartment

Of announcements

Of courage found

Of strength regained,

We are all reminded

Of home and hearth thousands

Of miles away, the vast

Blue sea in the distance.

The abode of the compatriot,

Partner to this struggle

We have covenanted to see to its end

Becomes our only sacrament.

In this place lived only

During the late night hours,

We tell our stories again,

Recite them word for word

From the storehouse

Of the faith healer's

Memory of brilliant vision

And fierce resistance,

The giving of the gift

Of healing and acceptance.

And then

We begin to weave

The images, clear and concrete,

Of that big dream

On a canvass of red

And velvet, the silkier

The surface the better

To allow the tears to slide,

Freely and ever-flowing,

To wash away our common pain.

Because we are going

To shed tears again

This Saturday.

This has become a habit lately,

A ritual that has been necessary

For us to fall asleep.

We count the timeless times

Of our own terror.

We count

The cold of the calendar,

The rain in the days,

The chill in the months

That mourned for us

And the passions are stirred

In these moments of fringing

On what fear is,

The year we yearn

For our salvaged selves.

Aurelio S. Agcaoili

Los Angeles, CA

Dec. 4, 2004

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