This Honolulu is on a Holiday

Honolulu is on a holiday today.
And the Ilokano workers hire out their hands

By the hour, hour after hour before
They catch the ride home to commute

What suffering there is in these days
Of abundance and luxury and want.

Tomorrow, the workers are back
To their tasks and these hired hands

Are Ilokanos who need to think
Of balikbayan boxes in exchange

For the hours of mopping tired floors
Mopping liquid rage on their foreheads

So tourists with or no accent would be glad
To bring good tidings to this green island

Come again the following year and the next
To escape the snow & aloneness in big cities

And here, in this Honolulu on a holiday
Watch the sun rise watch the sun set

Enjoy the night's hula on the Waikiki
But would never know that the workers

That clean your dirt and lighten up your heart
You tourist with the accent without the accent

Straigthen the crumple of your tired tense bodies
Throw away the condom on your moist blankets

And destroy all the evidences of your grief
Those Ilokano workers who know about you

But do not tell anyone except to their brooms
Their vacuum cleaners with their constant whirl

Except to their callused hands that do all service:
The mute phone on its place on your headboard

So you can call the night goodnight
So with the sleight of the magician's

Can they hide away tissue papers with the odor
Of loves and their secrets, loves not here not there

But to burn in hell and to destroy all the ruins
Of the opposite of felicities loyalties promises

The hot soup the Ilokano workers give you
To perk up your late day and your forever

So you can think about freezing mornings
In this tropics of wanton greed and need

The greed for the capitalists who see this land
In the contours of men on a diet of reslessness

The R and R not the byword but that communion
With the universe as well as its sickly shadow

So you cannot, never will, think of others
The need of the workers afraid of fear

Because it is more courageous to do so
Because to be afraid is to have the bloody dollar

That will buy the proofs of this America
To their kins thousands of miles away

This Honolulu is your city now, stranger,
And it is on a holiday. But the Ilokano workers

Will come back to wash away the grime
The laughter of the night that comes after

Will stock up sweet sins in rooms no one remembers.
This is how a Honolulu is on a holiday like this.

A Solver Agcaoili
Hon, HI
Dec 23, 2007

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