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POETRY

Marc Nair

Metro Manila Commute

Polite billboards teach us to say, 
“Please, thank you and excuse me”
even as jeepneys bully their way 
down blazoned boulevards 
bearing names like Redeemer, 
Graceland and Divine Faith.

No one saves the late sun,
picking up its feet after two 
blistering typhoons, as the 
Goodwill building fixes its 
broken windows.

Ako the street sweeper
Ako the traffic enforcer 
Ako the good doctor 

a paint company’s slogan.

The effigies of great men etch
concrete relief on the side 
of the pan-Philippine highway;

strip malls of Jollibees promise 
rice with everything even as 

traffic knots itself into love songs.

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