The Stalker

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ILLUSTRATION BY PERRY GIL MALLARI

ILLUSTRATION BY PERRY GIL MALLARI

The motorcycle rider who kept on running about
near the station gates? That wasn’t me. I don’t call,
text, or visit with pastries, fruits and pansit just so
I could smile at you like I wanted to eat you myself.
No, Ms. DJ, I cannot be seen, felt nor be heard. But I

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was fishing, listening by the river, while you complained
of sleeplessness and stress. I caressed you with the calm
current and winds of my boat. So I had to reach land, be
the farmer who left for you fresh vegetables and nuts.
No notes on a torn notebook, no quotes or phone jokes

for this is no joke. Remember the two yellow-blue ATMs
lonely and forlorn in the middle of a stormy night
on a deserted thoroughfare? I was there. Full metal jacket,
at the ready for a rogue cop sentenced to die. His sins against
the Republic? Stealing from government coffers, ATM style.

You were with a motley crew of writers, shamans
and musicians. One even remarked that the cash
machines looked like a couple of prostitutes past
their prime. You disagreed, saying they looked more
like a couple in a love quarrel. The shaman started

a ritual and pointed at my location. The rain stopped,
blowing my cover and perimeter. So I had to disappear,
again, and become a college freshman without a care.
Exam crammer, distracted by your voice on the ear set,
secretly waiting for you by the window, the lady’s dorm

right across his room, so he could watch you turn
the lights on, open your window shutters, undress
down to your undies and do aerobics. If you were
that girl. So I rewire the explosives I was working on,
your voice getting on my tickles as you advised

a gay couple to just let it go, let it go, even if
both of them are CEOs. But a snare had to snap, guns
went off outside, and Marwan was dead. So I ran
and ran, and ran but I was a Manny Pacquiao fan.
Had to watch his bout and be gone. Again I was

a Chinese fisherman by the sea, turning, fine-tuning
the knob for some fresh non-Chinese lullabies, spice
for spies. And there you were on air, telling me how
you love the siopao and siomai some listeners sent
you from Binondo in Manila. Just near Malacañan.

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