Completely skinning an onion

The name of this place, Biñan, we trace to christening—
and what else can we do here,
           watch ourselves

           mouth the failure of CCTV? Replay typhoons,
our gestures bending electric posts to breaking?

How’s news of the lesser crime: like any
merry afternoon troupe, a woman maybe in her forties,
another looking fifteen, pulling along a ten-year old,
           strangers calling out to strangers,

selling wares.
With them a thin man, and how his cart ballooned with cheap pillows,
                      their linings crunchy white and opaque,
           not letting on they’d been stuffed with sky

           blue, discarded face masks.
Covers under cover for the lockdown siesta.
Those shaped into thigh-thick hotdogs

likely served as toys.
            “So how did you find out?”
            “Our neighbor texted.”

Nothing’s petty or everything is. Only
so much invisibility we can take, surely, or
go sniff ourselves another’s dream.

           “And how did they find out?”
           “Pillow fight.”
           “How many kids did they—”
           “Don’t tell me you don’t know who’s living alone.”

Brief letters

                      Who’s planning a
                                 snatch of the oily-feathered
           chicken because you locked
67 bags of hair
in my draft folder?

A slain journalist’s story
lets you RENT a
day of class: “Honor comes,

Industrial ordered
salad and other festive treats.

A nest of throats

“As governments are mob,
                                 too. Support us because you’ll get
what rips whole

           versatilities from a
definition of a fetus. Tell your beloved
chains,” begins her tail child.

Due to slow
           spite, the cooling effect of bad Xmas
           kills, her money on @Giving

med Forces “challenged
(He was no edibly damaged
modern” ideas and on

           to sell its laboratory-
           glass wing
immediately). So,

ladies and the cathedral
scarcity—we suffer from taking pictures with
ends, hold each other a

in the come & go fear of leaving
municipal waters.

Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo teaches at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and blogs here. Other works appear online in SOFTBLOW, {m}, Better than Starbucks, and Otoliths.