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Apr 2015

Sickly, dark-skinned Joseph
Bustos was in a suit,
picked his phone from his
Pocket and asked us to take
Him a selfie as he motioned
To the statue of an eerily staring,
Possibly demonic Ronald
McDonald languidly swaying
On a faux-park bench. Collective

Laughter - "Are you serious,
"Man?" We said, having all heard
Full well stories of
****** painted clown statues
Moving its creaky bones
At the crack of dawn only
To devour our soul. "Are
"You serious,
"Bustos?" we genuinely taunted -
"Well I'll have a mirror," he told us
"So don't worry." I never

Quite got what that meant.


The laughter and tales of
Business school and
Med school continued full on
Into the late (school) night,
Dense tails of superglued
Frog brains, Chinese economics,
Girl problems in the
Philippine stock exchange drowning
The macabre absurdity
Of the take out
Terror, Ronald

Staring blankly into the crevasse of
The night, and we absurd,
Blanketing in laughter scarred and scared
Wanting to approach
The chained playground but shivering
At the slightest hints
Of movement - which of


Came. And Jack
Yeung (The largest, yellowest
Of us all, perhaps smartest too,
Studying in Hong Kong)
Leapt, at which we laughed,
And made jokes about how
The cockroaches
Matched the color of
Our country's skin, made it
Crawl not just because
Of its stick thin haunches,
But its brownness,
Seediness, inconcealable


To which we laughed - yellowed
Out, almost as pale
As the sticky ice
Cream cups that adorned our
Table, pale not though,

From lineage but rather
The collective rosiness of our
Disillusioned, ice
Cream-fed cheeks, and the fear
Of darkness, and eerie
Whitefaced Ronald, and
Brown cockroaches and

Spirits that could move
Frozen marble faces. Bustos
Gestured quietly
To his cellphone,
Gazed downward and muttered
Something about
Fraternities and connections.


Behind our mutterings,
The Movement: children,

Coffee-stained and tattered rag
Shorts slit open like grass stained
Skirts, holding their bony
Hands and kissing Ronald's
Hollowed cheeks like he was
An ancient god. "Stop,"
I imagine us warning them,
"Evil spirits, dark and deep
"As night itself, haunt his body.
"Stay away - we've studied
"His countenance plenty."

They would only laugh though,
And continue to stroke
His paint-chipped cheek,
Brown - not
Ghost-thinned cockroach,
But rather rich
Like brewing coffee and

Jedd Ong
Written by
Jedd Ong
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