Immortal Saul

The Immortal Saul
By Jonathan Aquino


As a young man I labored
in the docks, waiting, like my
boisterous fellow workers
and shrewd native dealers
for the Dutch galleons; silk
East Indies spice and everything nice;
and opportunists abound like flies.

I held her hand as she trembled,
an old woman, a grandmother of five,
as we watched the Spanish armadas arrive.
I claimed her as my wife when she was
a girl of twenty --  but all things pass;
bittersweet memories time has stolen:
her face, her smile, even her name –
now forgotten.

I cannot die
and I don’t know why.
It was Ferdinand Magellan
who first broke my heart --
and I mean  that  literally;
my blood flowed from that Spaniard’s sword
as it pierced my trembling body.

Sometimes I feel Stateside:
I got a thousand American bullets;
but through it all I showed my class
From Pinaglabanan to Arayat to Tirad Pass.
I joined the Commonwealth Literary Contests
but lost to Camilo Osias;
then I got depressed and headed west.

In Manila I got blown away
by a Japanese kamikaze pilot,
but that’s okay,
and good riddance to that idiot.
I sold K-rations during the Liberation;
I was a businessman smuggling Spam –
“Hey Joe, wanna woman?” I was also a pimp, man!

That was when I got my second gonorrhea;
the first time was during the time
Of Limahong, that Kung Fu pirate from China.


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