• Shift


    I woke up one morning

    wanting to be a cat

    I actually wanted to become a lion

    or a tiger

    But none of these exist here in the Metro

    or in the country

    Except of course

    At the decades-old Manila zoo

    Whose zoo keepers look fatter than the hippos,

    elephants, zebras

    and lion or tiger that they feed

    I wanted to be cat to freely look for my own food,

    Mine alone, not for others

    they say cats abandon a house or a home

    when it runs out of food,

    such a practical creature
    Oh Zebra, I also woke up one late afternoon,

    Wishing to be a healthy zebra,

    I really wanted to become a unicorn

    But I felt old enough to wish that one

    I just wanted to be different

    To feel special, like that of zebra, with alternating

    Strips of black and white, and what?

    I slept and dreamt one day, I was transformed into a man.

    Yes, a real man, they say.

    Those who cut trees down,

    Those who pet the dogs and slaughter the pigs (chicken, too)

    Those who water the rose and orchids,

    and illegally log Narras

    In the name of money and fame

    men acted worse than animals

    and grow faster than any bean stalk

    I slept and dreamt one day of being a man

    And I wished and prayed

    That His Highness

    Wake me up

    In this bad dream

    And just turn me

    Into one,

    useful stone.



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