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POETRY

Marc Nair

In The Neighbourhood

I walk through San Roque under the grace 
of evening lights,
the street a long yard of laundry lines. 
Jeepney running boards
a makeshift bench for smoking teens. 

Children splash shouts from inflatable pools, 
the main road keeps
a warm procession of stay-a-whiles.
Lovers slip in and out 
of houses, lingering in doorways. 

A table of men gamble their pocket money 
and watch the sun go down.
This is no tourist coastline, there are no 
recommended retail prices, 
no guidebooks with kitsch illustrations.

There is nothing to buy but everything 
to breathe. 
When they smile, it is enough to laugh 
in return and show them 
the camera’s screen, a well-framed dream.

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