The Filipino Politician
- by Nick Carbo 47When he finds his wife in bed with another man--
The conservative politician feels an ache in his stomach,
remembers the longanisa and the tapa he had for breakfast.
He doesn't know whether to get the doctor or Cardinal Sin
on the phone. He calls one of his bodyguards, tells him
to shoot the man and then, his wife. He takes his .38 magnum
from his brief case, shoots his bodyguard in the back.
The liberal politician pours himself a glass of Courvoisier,
remembers a passage from an Anais Nin story.
He is suddenly the one they call the Basque. He removes
his Dior tie, his Armani shirt, his Calvin Klein boxer shorts.
He puts on a black beret, whispers, tres jolie, tres jolie,
que bonito, muy grande my petite amore. He joins them
in bed, begins his caresses on the man's calves,
kisses his way up the man's thighs.
The communist politician does not call his wife a puta,
nor does he challenge the man to a duel with balisong knives.
He stays calm, takes out a book of poems by Mao Tse Tung.
Inspired, he decides to advance the Revolution.
He takes a taxi to Roxas Boulevard, he begins to curse
and throw rocks at the American Embassy.
- by Nick Carbo 46How do you enter that Manila
frame of mind, that woven
mat of noodle house restaurants,
that dawn of tapis tasting women,
that hankering of hourly hauntings?
Drive along Roxas Boulevard
when the moon has just clocked
out of third shift and the sea horses
are returning to their feeding stables.
Walk the afternoon trees of Taft Avenue
and talk to the mechanics of Sunday
medicine. Ask them for recipes
to cure fire-retardant love. Bask
in the baying of mahogany dogs on Mabini
street and pass through the red
wrought iron gates of Calle Remedios
where you'll find a house with capis windows
where Do?a Inez waits to sew your skin.
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