ode to Gapan City
old, old –
i saw you as a refuge from the world,
whenever things got ugly, i took the jeep(s)
and arrived at your doorstep after many ups-and-downs
i did take a bus today, a cold and very expensive bus.
no jeeps – i was hurrying.
and i searched for you this afternoon,
it was worth it.
i got into the old eatery and ate.
cheap nostalgia. it set me back by thirty-seven bucks.
but it was good. the arroz caldo was superb,
fitting for a night of remembering.
though i was not able to visit my beloved Arayat
who closed her doors at around six
(or so the trike drivers told me)
and they even offered to take me there themselves,
but for, what, five hundred bucks? my heart vaporized.
if i chance upon another holiday
i will return to you,
then meet with her as the sun has just begun setting.
and no more cold buses this time.
whatever it takes to avoid them.