Written by: Sherwin Balbuena

I know the way you feed

your wife and children.


I see you asleep at daytime

as though it were night.

The bamboo floor

complains about your

body weight and

length of unconsciousness.

You move and change

position to achieve

the most comfortable

stance, and the kubo (hut)

you have built for your

family shakes, and the

loosely fastened or nailed

structures creak, and

it irritates the lizards

adopted by your

hospitable house.


The vacant, fertile backyard

shouts to waken,

but you are deaf.

The tansan (bottle cap) of newly

opened liquor of your

neighbor falls and

touches the ground and

clangs and, now,

cures your unique deafness

and wakes you up.

Your kumpare (male friend) invites you

for "one shot,"

but you violate some

math rules and

equate one shot

to two cuatro-cantos (gin).

You come home

zigzagging, uttering

words not found

in your undrunk vocabulary.

Before the door

you throw up and

feed the dogs

with your delicious pulutan (viand).

Your hungry wife

screams in anger

and sets innocent, empty

kalderos (cooking pot) in flight.