It is the quickest of all responses
like my country's: bullets, and more bullets
fired in rapid succession like the exterminator's.
These are easy to come by, in military aids
from those who export sugared soda,
white film stars, God, insecurity, and war.
The saffron revolution, they say,
like my country's
yellow and then red, the blood
in gallons mingling
with the living as well as the dead.
It is assassination time, as always,
or some murder most foul, who knows?
We marched in the past, and we still do.
They marched for freedom and the zing of a gun
loaded with fear and death goes through.
It is the way of life here, as in Burma,
where the trigger is a prayer.
Some kind of a meditation
on what to do next to define democracy
in terms of funeral pyres or the curtailing of the cries
of the streets. For here, in places poor and rich,
we can never know what lips is it that say, No!
We take the news from here, from Burma
and from all the countries where we do not go.
They come to us in that bad dream
of ghosts and more ghosts,
stanching our wounds with their martyr's rag
or salving our souls with their strange loves.
Saffron revolution and our yellow are the same.
They will both go kaput, to history's shame.
A Solver Agcaoili
Hon, HI 12-10-07