Stargazing in the time of tokhang

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You have a thing for stars

and constellations, you announce

as we hang out in front

of our favorite sari-sari store,


each of us smoking a stick

of Winston Lights in between sips

of RC Cola from a plastic pouch,

and munching on Happy Peanuts.


I like looking at the stars, too,

and just like you,

I have also made countless wishes

while watching them twinkle.


For hours, almost every night,

I stare at the sky,

wondering when my prayers

would finally be granted.


You have a thing for stars

and constellations, again, you announce.

Our cigarettes have long been gone;

our sodas and peanuts, consumed.


The sari-sari store is now closing

and although it would be lovely

to keep listening to your countless stories

about stars and constellations


and how they shape our lives,

no matter how nice

it would be to gaze at the stars all night,

to our homes, we must run.


In no time, the cops will be here

to comb through the street for bystanders.

Tomorrow, let’s look at the stars again,

but, perhaps, just not beyond 10 PM.









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