One More Customer

By Paolo Concepcion
Poetry

After photograph no. 3 in Hajar Kabalu’s Minsan sa may Bagsakan

One more customer
So that I can give
My daughter the latest
Phone in the mall.

One more customer
So that I can buy
My wife the flat screen
television she wants.

One more customer
So that I can grant
My son’s wish to have
A personal computer.

One more customer
So that I can afford
The down payment for the
Car I always wanted

One more customer
So that we can move away
From our annoying landlord
To a house we can call our own.

One more customer
So that my son can
Ride the jeep to school
Tomorrow.

One more customer
For my daughter
And the milk
Of her son.

One more customer
So that I can buy
My wife
Her medicine.

One more customer
So that we can eat
A hearty dinner
Tonight.

One more customer
So that I can pay
The stall’s rent
That’s due yesterday.

Bili na po kayo.

Instagram

by Paolo Concepcion (Poetry)

After W. H. Auden

About selfishness, they’re seldom mistaken,
The pyschologists: how well they’ve researched
The human ego: how it takes over
While someone takes a picture broadcasting his meal;
How, while everyone is devotedly, fervidly obsessed
With their image online, bodies with cardboards are dumped
In vacant lots, and emaciated kids stare blankly at cameras;
They never care
That unrequited love for oneself may end in suttee
Anyhow in a podium, in some popular spot
Where the lions roar about their grandiosity and the moss
Photosynthesizes underneath the shadow.

In Brenda’s selfie for instance: how her eyebrows are on fleek
Quite the time and effort spent; her lipstick
Like the Joker in Batman, all to be noticed by the public.
But for her those are important keys; the duck face
And the tattoo on her legs accentuated on the LCD
And the abomination that is the daiquiri
She’s holding, trying hard to climb high society,
Her way of telling people she likes to party.