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Alejandro, as when baptized in Saint Martin Parish,
when first had a confession and communion,
name that was given when yet inside his mother’s womb.
Al, Ali, Andro, Andoy, handles that he’s been called
by mother and father, siblings, playmates and friends.
He could turn but sluggishly when his name summoned.
Alex, just call me Alex,
he would sometimes beg,
though himself unsure whether he really was Alex.
Wayward just like other boys; fought and wounded,
and injured some kids. Had a dog named Blackie,
played tug o’ war, hide n’ seek.
Alex could still turn his head but only slowly when his name called.
Jose. He said his name was when asked
by a security guard when once apprehended;
he was caught stealing a bottle of hair-gel
in a shop on Avenida.
Thief. Delinquent. Were some of the names
that the store manager called him.
They laughed at him, they taunted him,
said: Bastard, why are you doing that?
You’re a bummer!
Mark? Is that you? Once a stranger asked him
as he passed a dark alley.
He turned (idly as always) and asked: Why?
The stranger murmured:
Let’s go to my kingdom, what say you?
But I am not Mark; John is my name
– where is your kingdom anyway? He replied, grinning.
Fast-forward: Luke, Matthew, Timothy,
and some other disciples' names,
that when he already exhausted
all that were in The New Testament
he started looking into grandma’s pamphlet
for archangels’ names!
Alejandro, when called by whatever name,
would turn his head sluggishly as always
but would often make it up
with a sweet, sweet smile.
crystal face I kiss
tongue tastes like sweet cold rain
I fall into pond