“The Night Manny Pacquiao KO’ed Oscar De La Hoya,” by Barbara Jane Reyes

By

The Night Manny Pacquiao KO’ed Oscar De La Hoya
After Kevin A. González’s “The Night Tito Trinidad KO’ed Ricardo Mayorga”

The senator embraced his toddler’s yaya
& shared a San Miguel beer

in the spitshine polished banquet room.
How else could it have gone down?

They spit in our face, Filipinos.
They fuck us & when we come home,

They treat us like maids.
We stink of garlic and BBQ’ed dog.

Our dignity is as astig
as the glaring eyes of our Pinoy boxers.

I am writing this poem because
I am you, you know. I am you

& pride makes necessary things
even more necessary, and beautiful.

Because the muscle of punches
has forced our presence into newspapers

& our anthem is amplified
by the glitz of Las Vegas.

Our culture is an advertisement for Nike
kneeling at the cornerpost

& the jeepney driver fist-pumping,
war cry reaching heaven,

hands clenched & rosaried
like the two saviors we worship.

Barbara Jane Reyes


From time to time, The Rumpus publishes new poems. Check out this multimedia collection of poetry we've published. More from this author →