The Way We Live
By Danton Remoto

(For Ted Nierras)

Bang the drum slowly, baby,
let us roll tremors
of sound to wake
the Lord God of motion
sleeping under the skin.

Of choosing what to wear
this Saturday night:
cool, sexy black
or simply fuck-me red?
Should I gel my hair
or let it fall like water?

Of sitting on the sad
and beautiful face of James Dean
while listening to reggae
at Blue Café.

Of chatting with friends
at The Library
while Allan shimmers
with his sequins and wit.

Of listening to stories at Cine Café:
the first eye-contact,
conversations glowing
in the night,
lips and fingers touching,
groping for each other's loneliness.

Of driving home
under the flyover's dark wings
(a blackout once again plunges
the city to darkness)

Summer's thunder
lighting up the sky
oh heat thick
as desire

Then suddenly the rain:
finally falling,
falling everywhere:
to let go, then,
to let go and to move on,
this is the way it seems
to be. Bang the drum, baby.