We have many of them,
these phantasm of people
in palaces our sweat and blood

and death built. They are minions
of our sad nation's presidents, men or women
or ghosts, land-grabbers and thieves.

It is like a multiple choice,
and the answer is predictably all:
husbands of presidents

wives of presidents and congressmen
senators of senators and their henchmen
and thieves among thieves and their collectors

their code of honor the quick twinkling of their eyes
in the praying of rosaries, in the mouthing of phrases
a gift from Rome and the prayer and river palaces

the diamond beads that for twenty years
was the first lady's guidance to ruin the scaffold
of our people's dreams, their children's too

and the twenty years multipled a hundredfold
when she, prayerful and devoted, and many others like her
gave all of us empty words, the ejaculation in their litanies

eclipsing the magnificence of her holy rosary that glitters
in our country's tropical sun, its light and power and heat
caught in between a multitude of thieving fingers

the sun eventually residing forever in the multitude
of thieving minds. The rosary, hers, glistens
in the moonlight with her other saints, fair and black

the rainbow colors in extremes do not matter much
for as long as her own miracles do still happen
at the prodding of her conventual, powerful

fingers schooled in the art of praying the novena
for a show, like a bishop's repeatable first act,
this spectacle loved by eunuchs of clerics

and drunk archangels waiting from the wings
the archangels also her minions in her congress
of deceit as she bribes them with the millions

of our sweat as it was with friars and their gospels
of racapacity and greed, their raucous laughter at our expense
and this social sin that today takes on new forms:

a ghostwritten speech that talks about the love
we have for social justice and the sacred alms
to bury the poor child who died of hunger

and of the loneliness of living and quitting from life
in want and abuse with million others like him
in the squalor of our regrets, our belated regrets.

No, to be a minion is not in the sex.
No, to be a minion is not in gender either.
Yes, to be a minion is to say 'yes' to her.

And to all like her, like him, like all the others:
those who robbed us of our desire to love our lovers
those who denied us of the joyous plot of our honeyed dreams

for this land we have loved but has not loved us
for this land we have always loved but has not always loved us
for this land we will always love but has opened herself to other loves.

A Solver Agcaoili
Hon, HI
Feb 23/08

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