This time, a trembling assaults us, in unison.
It’s another year to forget our dysfunctions, now
levitating on the echoes of our screams. It’s
like an annulment from the struggles of our
diaspora, beaming through the usual servitude
in multiple continents. For a moment, we
are an assembly of isolationists, trapped in a
bubble that feels like redemption. This
crown is not a freak accident anymore, or another
sclerotic exercise of being mere participant
in a global competition. This crown is the grace
of belief, a whisper from the God of our
rosaries, a tune we dance in the malls and YouTube
channels of our excitements. For a while, we
are not fragments in an archipelago, but a unified
vision of hope for the plight of our country,
sequined on our candidate’s gown. Now listen to
the skies of our coconut trees and skyscrapers.
There’s a canticle of approbation in the offing.
It’s a new inflection in the cackle of our insults to
each other: we now refuse to demoralize each
other with the cheapest slang: instead, we prefer
to dress up confrontations with the glitter of
wit, and whatever irony we can muster from the
conscience of our national languages. We
want to replicate our candidate’s grace and composure
during the night’s final question: it’s an attribution
to a new age of conquest in our pulse as a people,
a hint of waking from the glum of our past. We
are not demanding for startles anymore. We are forging
quivers in our eyelashes, for the grand entrance of
orchids into the center of our eyes. We cannot ignore
the beauty in our backyards anymore. We gather
into a dance, to anoint root systems inside us for a
new alliance, to abdicate erasures from the body of this land.
Michael Caylo-Baradi is an alumnus of The Writers’ Institute at The Graduate Center (CUNY). His work has appeared in Hobart, The Kenyon Review, The Common, The Galway Review, Galatea Resurrects, MiGoZine, Our Own Voice, Otoliths, PopMatters, New Pages, Ink Sweat & Tears, and elsewhere.