He sits
on the mocha-brown wood
and watches
the angst-ridden crowd
sweep by
like the dust
he used to sweep
when the back
still held.

(There is no end to them.)

He stays
in their midst
and hungers
for what he now cooks
(squid balls)
but can no longer afford
to sink
his (long-gone) teeth

This work is copyright 1998 The Philippine Star and Shirley Siaton-Parabia.
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