In my last dream before waking,
I couldn’t find
the exit from a mall.
It could have been the Mall
(though I’ve never been there),
for the row of glass windows
all along one side
looked upon the bay, and a vintage
biplane overhead trailed a red and
through the gloom, reading
“Manila Bay’s Famous Sunset.”
Not a star
perforated the leaden
skies, and a group of schoolboys
down by the wharf
were digging with spoons in the sand.
Or could it have been
Now I am confused—
No, now I’m pretty sure it was the mall
next to the museum
named after the five-star General
sporting Ray-bans— because of the frozen
displays of mannequins
dressed in cheap fabrics stitched mostly
in Chinese factories. They stretched
their arms toward the cabinet
holding MacArthur’s silverware and
pewter, but his man-servant wouldn’t
let them near.
“I’m keeping these safe till he returns,”
he declared, perhaps not knowing
that in the lobby
of the rotonda, the man himself
lay sleeping next to his second wife,
a southern belle.
She was 46 and he 64 when he strode
waist-deep into the surf in the famous
I’ve seen a mural commemorating
the event (his wife isn’t in it,
of course), and I have
always wondered but never remember
to ask museum guides why there, behind
the General, Romulo (5’4″)
isn’t up to his shoulders in the water.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.