My people asked for rice, but got shot in the neck.
The day before my birthday was two men’s death,
as thirteen others bled
beside them on the street;
the same Kidapawan street tourists pass
to get from one stretch of paradise to another, the sun
blinding them to the howling of the fathers of this land.
My people asked for rice, but got bullets
because to God, “State of Calamity” sounds like “riot,”
because to God, “drought” sounds like “denial.”
The day before my birthday 5,000 hungry farmers
begged for rain and got wet under a shower
of police incompetence. They sounded so much like fireworks
we almost stopped and looked.
Almost. An ocean over
Pakistan asked for Easter eggs, but got blown in the face.
The day Christ was born the second time was the nth time
someone went to hell and dragged 69 innocent lives with them.
Can God feel it when His churches shake?
Do the man-made earthquakes keep him awake?
Long enough to hear how
Iraq asked for peace, but got bombs.
In the middle of a football match
people’s cheers turned to shrieks as children
explode – 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 years old
But our brown bodies are darker than the skins of
international business companies.
Brown corpses are harder to see, and some gun shots
are louder than others, and some bombs
are brighter than the rest.
So when my people asked for rice,
the government said “Fuck you.”
So when my people asked for rice
God burned their crops with farmers’ blood
to make His harvest grow.
So when they asked for my fucking vote I said,
“I’d rather shoot myself dead than be called ‘PiNoy Pride’ again.”
When the Gods ask for nationalism, denounce your citizenships.
When the media asks for silence, give them a fucking revolution.