Barefooted Men Carry the Dark Son of God

Today the long lines
are getting longer
and the black Son of God
reigns supreme in
this tropical land
of hope and faith,
two cottage industries
that make us produce
what we can believe
reproduce what mercies
cannot in this difficult times
give as generously
as in the wretchedness
of our miseries.

We go around town,
pass through where all
things sacred are profaned
by what we can unsay
to mark the barefooted men
they who carry the maroon
of what life can offer
and the yellow of what courage
we need to go on living
in these tropics
where elections become
a ritual of our tender goodness
for all those who have oppressed
for all those we want to continue
oppressing us because
they promise us rice in abundance
they promise us roads
connecting our birthplaces
with the graveyard.

Barefooted men, in multitude,
the throng a prelude
to the morning of a mindless crowd,
carry the dark Son of God
who from his perch, looks
at a sea of men drunk
with the blood of Christ.

This has become a story
of generations, a generation
after another one
until the memory of this ceremony
of our coming around
to what the days have given us
become itself the apocrypha
to what we have become.

Quiapo, Manila

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