He peels the dark hair from his forehead
and stretches his legs amid strangers
some clucking to each other in french,
others in tagalog, english, spanish
whatever comes to their tongues first.
manila is a busy city,
not in the way that paris was busy
or london or new york
but a massive shuffle of people,
tiny cats, dirty buildings
and constantly honking [and crashing] cars,
jeepneys, vans and buses kind of busy.
as he rides the packed bus
away from the city towards the mountains,
mountains as steep as the ones
underneath german castles
if not steeper,
the people of the country side board
selling their wares until the next town:
another collection of cardboard huts.
the villages smell of the jungles
and Paulo knows in a few hours
he will be stretching his legs once more
beside clear waters and aching palm trees,
rushing waterfalls and eating soursop fruit.
He grins. The world is his bowl
fashioned of many colors
ele mantém a sopa da vida.