He was young,
tucking his Batangas balisong
in his back pocket,
his tight maong jeans
hugged his limbs
like he were James Dean,
a half-lit cigarette
ashen at the tip
perching on his lips
like some tough dude’s scowl,
Don’t mess with me!
But it was all a game.
& when shadows ganged upon him
in some alley street
he thought the fantasy was over.
Now, he would trade his flash knife
for a poem,
his eyes scanning those gangsters
in academic robes.
O but certain things don’t change
He’s stuck on the outside looking in.
Street rumble for Hemingway?
It’s not easy to be cool.
He couldn’t show the muzzle
of a shotgun into his mouth
The exchange didn’t make a difference:
Poetry is a poor man’s
There, however, is a trigger in his mind
he would like to pull:
He knows who they are.

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