the day I left the city
The cobbler’s store where my brother had his prom shoes sewed back together sits right in front of the bakery that sells pandesal for 3 pesos apiece. The overcrowded PNR train my high school friend rides to get to school still runs despite its sorry state. Even the old apartments with moss-colored facades lining the corners of Dapitan Street or the cardboard boxes that belong to the old man begging from across Mcdonalds remain unmoved. From the plane, I scanned over the patches of gray and green to look for these familiar places. Beside me, a woman clutches her rosary.