Do not expect an intermission

“Since Duterte took office in late June, more than 6,000 people have been killed in his campaign to purge the Philippines of illegal drugs and those associated with them, according to reliable estimates by local media. The ­victims—­suspected users and ­pushers—do not enjoy due process, and they are always killed at night, sometimes inside their own homes. The perpetrators are vigilantes, hired guns and likely cops too….” ~ TIME Magazine, “In Manila, Death Comes by Night”

The city has become a detour through nightmare:
all streets foreshadowing the venue of your

possible death, all intersections locked
into place like crosshairs. Every kiosk

and newspaper stand, a stage for noir. The butcher
strings garlands of meat on gleaming hooks and wipes

their constant drip from white-tiled counters.
The air ghosts with murmurs, with warnings

to avert the eyes and keep silent— Don’t ask
who gives the orders, who pays the hit man

and his accomplice. But in the makeshift theatre
the puppeteer’s shadow shows against the cheap

floral curtain. He no longer bothers with masks
or makeup. He opens his mouth or locks his jaw,

and figures contort. Their flimsy heads rip
open; their chests burst as if made of paper.


In response to Via Negativa: Replay.

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