Manila By Night, This One

This is your first time
To see Manila by night,
This one that hits you right

From the clouds, black and thick
Looking like mountains
With their residents that cry

Foul to what is wrong with the land
You go back to, again, tonight
From another land you wished

You had gone before all these talks
Of People Power Revolution Number One
Of People Power Revolution Number Two

And all these other faux pas revolts
All called in the name of our people
All in the name of the wretched

Who are filled with the rhetoric of alms-giving
With the promise of a nation come alive
With the promise of redemption

From the heavens, high up here, in these clouds
That form like saints, gods, and shadows,
Passing and malleable in the permanency

Of fantasy we need all the time
To forget what we cannot achieve
To lessen the pain of eking it out.

This is Manila by night, this one
Your first in the many years you went away
Your city that betrayed you, the city you left behind.

Manila/Feb 13, 2009

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