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People scavenge the garbage
looking for history.
Bits of it salvaged from the rubbish,
recycled in the kitchens
in the slums of Manila.

Convenient parts of the history are digested
by the solvent omnivores at the ritzy restaurant.
Leftovers are discarded as useless undergarments
that nobody collects but the jejune mass
of unsophisticated eyes, noses, tongues and tastes.

Scavengers collect, wash, cook, and sell history
at a cheap rate. Recycled history paralyses the consciousness,
ousts the ego, sculptures the superego into a mere carcass.

Scavengers are Avengers of our time
metamorphosing the lesser humans into bugs
with a human face, voice, skeleton,
flesh and a ludicrous digestive system.

A new humanity is born at the hands of the scavengers
who never wait for the second coming of the savior.
Here leftovers are eaten by the leftovers
without minding the sophisticated history of the refined snobs.

*pagpag (Tagalog)

1. The act of shaking off dust or dirt.
2. (informal) Leftover food scavenged from garbage.

Md. Shahrear Talukder
29 April 2019
Akran, Birulia, Savar, Dhaka

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