The Immigrant

SunStar Cebu Weekend: The Immigrantmidnight
and the wantonness of wandering
in New York’s insoluble streets is history
it has been eight hours since
and I am still swamped in a Chinese bus
with twice the number of hours
seated in odds and evens
each with a repertoire of algorithms
I look at them and find no relevance
they look at me and find indifference
I turn up the volume
just as Bono rises at the coda
and bring my backpack closer to my chest
fur coat jostled, PETA be damned
every eight minutes
and I am brought back to the tropical fever
floured living woods
morphing into tall palm trees
bare and proud on a high noon
smooth stretches of asphalt
shaping into potholes and humps
converting devotees to drunken bystanders

and a bump on my head stirs me awake
“Welcome to Chesapeake Bay!”
the signage knifes through the horizon
and the buzz and the bliss of homecoming
fades into a blur
I am home, aren’t I
but then again, never so
I look around and fish for a smile
the same fracture reverbs
no angle of intimacy in this excursion
would bring us closer
Not in this irregular form
so I plead for a window
and see the sun’s arms cradling the bay
an indefinite stretch of blue
up ahead
an exponential longing

(As published in SunStar Weekend Cebu | May 26, 2013, Metro Cebu, Philippines and in Dagmay under the title, “Cities” | August 11, 2013)


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