Swerving after Crossing Ilalim on a Monday Morning [Poetry]

Emerging from Crossing Ilalim, we follow
the light, and the lanes of EDSA.

Along with thousands of cars, buses, heading where
offices are located. Fast-moving
(though unreliable) train drowns
engine sounds, blaring horns
from taxis, buses, AUVs swerving,
to the least congested lanes.

But on this Monday morning, EDSA traffic is heavy
as usual. From the front seat
of this passenger van,
billboards obstruct my view of the sky
as we try to cross
the Guadalupe bridge—

Smiling models present
the latest
gadget, underwear, toned body, diet
trend, and there’s also a verse about
the fulfillment of my dreams.

Oh! There’ll be another weekend mall sale:
up to 75% off.

There’s a price for everything,
even at discounted rates.

Can I pay 75% off the price
of the things I want most
in life?

Or should I go to Divisoria and haggle
for a lower-priced, made-in-China, version
of the dreams
I want to wear.

Our van shifted to the left to avoid
the stalled bus, and another one
stopped right ahead to pick up
more passengers.

I spotted behind us to the right, a red Mustang.
Made me wonder who would buy muscle cars and drive
them on the streets of Manila:
Zero to 160 in 10 seconds… And the best
speed you get on EDSA this Monday morning is 5 km/hr.

We shifted once more to the left, and moved.

just a bit.

And the traffic light turned


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