Note: this was written on January 9, 2010
Maroon shirts donned
and streaked with sweat,
offending nostrils of unmindful passersby.
But flaunting worship.
walking on a sun-scorched wide pavement—
burning the soles of their feet
and the callus surrounding
the deep red organ
battered over the last 365-day cycle.
selling cheap pieces
of this wooden god’s glory),
but not the faith
they mightily gathered only for this day.
They will not waver.
Candles may flicker,
but their hopes
will remain steadily lit.
Cars and jeepneys struggle
like turtles crawling up the dunes,
waiting on freedom
in the sea.
Men behind the wheel blow horns:
a loud grumble on wasted hours
that will not clang
in their starving pockets.
Now, the wooden god is revealed.
The long wait is over.
Crowds rush to his earthly glory!
Blood spilt; ambulance wails.
A terminal breath heaved—
a sacrifice, as black as his burned skin,
Glory! Glory to the wooden god!