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This poem has been brewing in my notes for a long time, and finally, after seeing the trailer of Erik Matti’s new movie entitled, “On the Job”, I’ve found the perfect inspiration to tidy it up. The dark gritty portrayal of Manila’s suffocating alleyways at night and the stark camera shots just pushed me to go over this piece again.


The moon unravels

upon Manila.

Slowly she loosens

her silver braids.

Strands of which

reach out

and extinguish

the setting sun,

taming the raging flames

coaxing them to surrender

to the city’s lulling

damask embrace.


Darkness emerges

from the haunted alleys

and dimly lit corners;

where whispering shadows

lurk looking for their chance,

lost in their own little dance;

teasing and cavorting

under tempting lights;

their seductive promises


by the settling night.


The city played

her song of desire,

each emerging note

resounding in the void.

A siren’s melody,

drawing out melancholy,

feeding on desire

and bitter pain;

slowly driving me insane.


Until it feels like

my soul is seeping

through my pores;

dripping out of my core.

Bleeding past pavements,

leaving a pale existence ….

a grotesque phantasm;

conjured from

the twilight of my mind.


And I was lost,

a mere shade

in this maddening shore

of diminishing hopes

and forsaken dreams.

A shadow born

from stench and squalor.


And all the while

the moon simply sits


on her throne.

Unaware, uncaring ….

Never realizing that

her delusive silver light,

fans the fire of

my delirious flight.

And the stars

in all their brilliance

seem to twinkle with laughter

at my pathetic attempt

to capture the sky.