Sweep and arc of yellow light
from passing jeepneys: sieved through
crocheted curtains at the window.
And the rain is always another curtain.
Even the poorest house is draped in it.
Cerveza Negra frosting a glass. Pulutan
on plates. Or someone might order “service
tea” and bowls of chicken mami. In the back,
old-timers hunched over games of chess;
the busboy pausing on his way to the kitchen.
Next door, small glass counter in a corner
of the lobby of Pines Theatre. A child
points to boxes of Milk Duds and Whoppers.
In a styrofoam cooler behind the cash register,
soft drink bottles packed in ice. You remember
a line from this movie, but not its title:
someone singing “Sweet, sweet potato pie.”
There has to be another word besides nostalgia
for what we do when we build whole scenes
and times as we write them. Notice: you don’t
talk about feelings here. Crinkled foil as bags
of chips are torn open. Fingers dipping into these
meagre salt wells. Only a small wooden barrier
sets off the Loge from the general Balcony section.
Walking outside you blink, adjusting to the light;
and signs lighting up Assandas and Bheroomull’s.