Home Petrochemical Depot
Ang lakas ko ay nalipat,
Sa puso’t dibdib ng lahat;
Kung nais ninyong akoy mabuhay,
Pag-ibig ko’y inyong ibigay.
–Nicanor Abelardo, “Mutya ng Pasig”
Praised be You my Lord, through Brother Sun
Petroleum fumes burn my eyes, my lungs
It hurts when I breathe, it hurts when I don’t
Praised be You my Lord, through Brother Air
High from inhaling gasoline vapors
Headrushing’s made me a junkie
Praised be You my Lord, through Sister Water
I bathe in her, I drink her tears
Collected in cisterns, poison rain
Praised be You my Lord, through Brother Fire
I erupt in bleeding ulcers and boils
My body, a cancerous tree in bloom
Luce con galas mil
–Jose Rizal, Junto al Pasig
[Yoink! Poem was here, and has since been revised.]
Here, the italicized Spanish verse is Jose Rizal’s opening chorus to Junto al Pasig. Not sure what else I can offer by way of explanation. As far as the effect of my lines pushing up on Rizal’s lines, I’ll leave that all to you to decide.
I was hoping I’d see someone else; not you,
suffocating your children in your full skirt’s
folded barbs. Hooded ladrones, bones
jutting, skin abscessed, discarded bodies.
At your banks, dengue fever swarms, thirsting.
Flowers with basura drift, toxic, silted, rank.
Into your murmuring waters, Rizal’s moon once
spilled his verse, and your whims once swallowed
bridges alive. Now, we sing your dirge, snaking
giant, you who named our fathers’ tongue.