Nick Carbo

      Directions to My Imaginary Childhood

If you stand on the corner
of Mabini Street and Legazpi Avenue,
wait for an orchid colored minibus
with seven oblong doors,
open the fourth door—

an oscillating electric fan
will be driving, tell her to proceed
to the Escolta diamond district—
you will pass Maneng Viray's Bar,
La Isla de los Ladrones bookshop,

the Frederick Funston fish sauce factory,
and as you turn left into Calle de Recuerdos,
you will see Breton, Bataille, and Camus
seated around a card table playing
abecedarian dominoes—

roll down your window and ask
them if Mr. Florante and Miss Laura
are home, if the answer is, yes,
then proceed to Noli Me Tangere park
and wait for a nun named Maria Clara—

if the answer is, Je ne se pas! then turn
right onto the parking lot of Sikatuna's
supermarket to buy a basketful
of lansones fruit, then get back
to Calle de Recuerdos until you reach

the part that's lined with tungsten-red
Juan Tamad trees, on the right will be
a house with an acknowledgments page
and an index, open the door and enter
the page and look me in the eye.

Nick Carbo, Andalusian Dawn, WordTech Communications, 2004.