By Jim Pascual Agustin

Sit patiently on a chair like the others.
Whatever skin you show
must be made to look
like old leather dredged

from stagnant sewers.
An electric razor will ravage
your scalp so a misshapen skull
can be plastered over. Your nose

and ears will be layered
with latex the texture of gravel.
If you should have speaking lines
on camera, you must learn to bare

those jagged dental prosthetics,
flick that blackened tongue.
You’ll wear grease-smeared rags
and a helmet that won’t stay on

as you run while being filmed
so close to a cliff. You will die
in different locations again
and again. Your own mother

will not recognize you
among the scattered bodies
in the panoramic sweep
of smoldering battlefields.


About Jim Pascual Agustin
Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates in Filipino and English. His randomly updated blog is He is deeply saddened and outraged by the policy claimed to be an all out war on drugs by the current president of the Philippines who was placed in power by a plurality vote, and not by a majority. This policy has resulted in the terror-inducing surge of summary executions of anyone alleged to be illegal drug peddlers or drug users.