Trailer with lettering: BAH DAH

10/09/07 BAHALA NA / The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH

BAHALA NA

It comes easy: loneliness, happiness
And everything in between. Even the hair
You stroked almost by accident
In a crowded room, it is yours
To keep. Like the stars in the sky that neatly
Fit in the pockets. At least that’s what
Children believe. Theirs is the simple way
Of walking that we must keep learning
Each day. This too comes, like the ready
Laughter when we insist it was not us—
But a passer-by—who broke wind.
We want to complain about the sad fate
Of our country, but on the tip of our tongues
That last-song syndrome we heard yesterday
Wants to be sung. If we get a coughing fit,
It’s because someone’s thinking of us back home
Or we’re being dreamt of by strangers
We have yet to meet in some foreign land:
Those we’ve wronged who want us more than dead,
Those who want so much of us, their love kills.
We think of them too when we pick our noses,
When we forget to take our vitamins—
Whichever comes to us first late this morning.

–Paolo Manalo

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