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Mother goes out

with a mask on

buys fruit

comes home

says it is alright

see, we have santol

we eat the bitter lining

with salt


every night before bed

my son prays

for the quarantine to end

he asks if he can play

with the boy next door

I say no – that little boy

runs around

without a mask


an old man

rummages through garbage


paano na si Manong

a friend asks

but I cannot stop

thinking about

my father


I have lung cancer

he did not live

to wheeze

through a mask


this is a parable

this must be a parable

there must be something



an old man

rummages through garbage


he finds a used surgical mask

he wears it


this is a parable

do you still not understand

Jesus said to the disciples

their faces





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