Retrace - Poem by RIC BASTASA

in Dumaguete
at 4 o'clock in the morning
you went out of the ship to take a walk along
the boulevard: an old one
with a story to tell
the one that you like to hear
again and again

this time
the heavy rains intervened
forgivable as it is the first heavy rain in the city
for the past five months

people stand along the side
of the covered pathway
the rain

you sit on one of those benches
where breakfast is served

fish and rice and coffee
the roof leaks
and drops of rain begins to hit
your shoulder

a man beside you
with some tattoo on his arms
looks at you like you are the man whom
he had been searching
all the years of his life

you stare back
sort of saying
you are not afraid
for this encounter

he looks away knowing that you also know
what betrayal is
what a war is
what killing fields are

he sidesteps your gaze
unzips his fly
and urinates pointing to the heavy rain

this is pure disrespect to the rain
you stop eating
brace the rain beyond the roof
bathes there
and walks away from there

this world is not absurd
it is logical
it knows when to stop and to begin again
when to stare back
when to back off and when to retrace its steps
along the boulevard

now the stories are becoming clear
and then the rain stops
you remember that was the song
precisely the lyrics are intact

but what for? you ask again
over and over again

you are so foolish.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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