April 7, 2011


And why do we stay to watch
an old man bathing
purpled limbs exposed to
horrified helpless stare
(his peeling cerements will reveal
their stale tobacco stuffing
or perhaps dried bull’s blood stinking
Chorizos of Asturias)
an old man bathing
going through the casual motions
of the living Old man
what will wash away
the smell of dying and what for?
Purpled limbs
shall still be wormed, or
browned in chill formaldehyde-
purpled hawsers sheerly holding on
while the slag heaps wait below.
Why do we stay to watch
as if waiting?

                                                         -  Ma. Lorena Barros
                                                            Sunday Times Magazine
                         Nov. 26, l967