Two Free Meals for the Road

Che Guevarra, you lie.

And all of your old men
who talk of diaries of freedom
and telling us there is no free lunch.

Even this Fidel Castro guy
is quite wrong, at least for now.

Today, on a Saturday, with the Oahu haze
and the promise of gusty wind
from the leeward side of our insular lives,
we called it quits, this dream of working
hard and harder for a paid lunch.

For today, on November 21,
a week after we closed the books
for the regathering of our Ilokano minds,
we went to an 'Olelo show taping
and declared ourselves
the mouthpieces of a pure rebellion
no one wants to wage or declare
much less define. And so we talk,
in between the ramblings of our famished
heart for what is a nation, for what
is the Ilokano nation all along
and how is it to fight for her
this lover, this beloved, this muse
this heartland only our heart knows
no bounds but now bounded
a fenced sad republic of our desires
that, until today, we do not know,
whether our alien citizenship
is of the wailing water
or of the bruised land
or all of the cracked documents
our former country has told us
are a proof of who we are:
such as this nation of only
a handful, like writers pretending
to have written the sadnesses of our people
but have only adulterous desires to show
or polygamous phrases to demonstrate
that the Ilocos is in their pockets
as well as its writers, moribund,
unthinking and to the grave
of forgetting, ready to go.

Che Guevarra, you lie.

Today, by the Thelma's on Waipahu,
we had free lunch
courtesy of one goodness
we miraculously found.

We had taken to attending
the Makahaki ceremony
by the bay, and the sacred stone
has told us of our wounds and blessings,
one and the same, and in coming home
by the freeway from the west
is the prayer of abandon
we hardly know but now remember
from the first letter to the word
of our resignation to what revolution
can do to give us an inch, one inch
at a time, to lead to the freedom
to have free lunch
with the Ilokano speaking
class of this our new land.

And in the evening on Wah Kung
by the H1 is the offer
for another free meal
by our friend who sings
in the Ilokano of our dreams,
her duayya the sweetest
spiraling note I have ever heard
in a long long while.

So: revolutionaries out there,
you are all wrong: two free meals
for the road for us for today
even as we search for the road
to kingdom come, that road
about what is to be free
that road about what is it
to love for all time
and sing about it
and write about it in a poem
for us to sing sweetly
when its music comes.

A Solver Agcaoili
Ala Moana Park/Nov 21, 2009

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