Words are all we have

Words are all we have, words.
In the end, we come to terms
with the speech that comes

not from the lips running afoul
with the lawlessness of unfree spirits
but the words that reside in our:

bodies that know what delight is
souls that tell us where our earth begins
minds that tell us that our warm bodies

and our souls-in-heat come to meet
in fighting words that lie to tell us what
our truth is, this one without the ruse

of shadows passing, the daylight
masking what dusk reveals
the alonetime midnight gives

even as we welcome the crowd
in our rhetoric-filled universe
of gaiety and grief, such as here,

in this heartland that now runs right smack
into the whirl and whir of patronizing
godfathers telling us all citizens of this land

that theirs is the way to run the sad country
better than those who had done so
in the last hundred years and more

where the constant was the good life,
the staple of our myth and tales, tall
and taller as the years came by

and then a dictatorship, its agents conjoined
to the hip in hip talk and hippy gospel
of change, gave us some sense of what

this non-sense is, our own that we have
become, our words for sale now
or have been snatched of us while we

pretended we were talking or about
to give our name or the name of our dream
this act we did even after we have called it quits

this game of hide-and-seek with the powerful
with those who rode on the wave of revolutions
we called forth to get our voices back.

Words are all we have, the movie script says,
and we know that a hundred times even before
we heard that again, one more time, said

in the contest of good and evil, us on one side
the other snatcher of our intentions standing by
ready to pounce on us even as we cry.

It is 2010, the year of the lion, and the superstition
comes in strong, stronger in our midst now,
more than ever even as we fight what words are left

in the lucky colors of our cheapened lives:
green for the revolutions that is not there
white for the intimations of the immaculate

heart that that we desire for ourselves and this city,
this soil, this piece of soul-land we have known
but does not know us, not any longer even as it

coaxes us to say here we are, here we are
reveling in all the false glory of this presence
haunting us, a specter of what our words are.

Marikina, Metro Manila

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