An Open Letter to the Greatest Bedan Poet Isagani Mark Atanacio

About a hundred years ago
During statistics class
We met
Brother, what is the probability
Of finding enlightenment
Under Professor Sylvestre?

Numbers could not do it
So we went to your house and talked with the beers
We drank the light of the stars with the gleam in our eyes
“What is Truth?”
‘What is Truth?’
(Perhaps another bottle of strong liquor will do)
Lord Jesus claimed it
So did Lord Krishna
This same question led us to drink more, smoke more, and laugh endlessly

Brother, why is it
That whenever we get too close to the answer
It slips?

Perhaps Truth is the dream of the gods
Like a liquor bottle, broken into pieces
That the wind blows all over the world
So that men like you and I can have something to do in life —
An adventure written in dreams

Or maybe it is like the mysterious constellation Azalea
That only a very few people have discovered

“What is Truth?”

Brother, remember the desert where we met?
Last night, Azalea spoke to me
“Take any grain of sand and place it on your tongue —
Taste it.”
(And I did)
Right there and then, brother, I found it —
Truth!
With her eyes looking straight back at me —
The beautiful face of the goddess Azalea

I found Truth
Or, at least, this is my Truth:

Brother, the Moon is a monster
She provokes us to ask more questions
To wonder more
And continue to hold the stars in their constellations
Brother, truth is in every spin of the roulette wheel
It follows us whenever we go to the store near your house
Each time our fingers dowse
It is inside the bottle of beer

In other words, truth is every time I light
And share a cigarette
With my best friend.

Thank you, brother.