Eileen Tabios

Bit Coin Bling

Lexus engineers—Life defined as credit card—
A glimpse of eternity in black obsidian—
Financial advisors attuned to the good—

A silver platter forgotten to tarnish the beach:
a platter serving sunlight—The artist traded identity
for a Tiffany brand—Las Vegas invites you home

with The Topless, The Wet, The White: Mandalay Bay!
Shoes subject to credit approval—Ford defining
“Escape”: blowing by a mountain-high 18-wheeler

through 200 horsepower V8—Microsoft become Mom
snooping on our passions—Diamond traders advocate
feminism: Women of the World! Buy Your Own!

W Hotel promises to balance “style” and “soul”—
Tequila Corazon de Agave alchemized from the heart
of blue agave bred in the rich, red soil of the “Highlands”

in Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico—The luxury of appointments;
the privilege of appointments—The classic contents of
the Filipino Balikbayan Box:

Dove soap
L’Oreal shampoo
Colgate (“has to be Colgate, not Crest”) toothpaste
SPAM corned beef
Set of Encyclopedia Brittanica from the 1970s
Nestle’s Quick chocolate
Folger’s (nowadays, Walmart house brand) coffee
Irish Spring soap
Libby’s corned beef
Costco Vitamin B-12
See’s chocolates
Back issues of Conde Nast Traveler, The New Yorker, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Glamour
Oil of Olay lotion
Almay lotion
Ziploc plastic bags
Reynolds aluminum foil and saran wrap
Campbell’s soups
Nine West and Liz Claiborne purses (“from factory outlets”)
Parker pens with refills
Osh Kosh playsuit
Baby Gap, Old Navy and Fisher Price onesies
Bayer aspirin
Carnation instant creamer
Nail polish: “L’Oreal for family, Maybelline or Wet n Wild for the servants”
Shampoo: “Pantene for family, Suave for neighbors”

Gifts differentiated among recipients—a matron’s pain
-staking definitions of servants versus those served—
Giftbox as the gift—Bling bling! Kaching!—A glimpse—

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