Are you really a PCV
if you’ve never cried on a late-night bus ride?
Never felt tears trace your stress-creased face
falling, speckling, seeding the rice fields
over which you bridge, drive
listening to Leon Bridges lyricize on heavy headphones
heading home to your host family’s house;
the too-far-gone forlorn farang
in a far-flung foreign fairy tale of durian and two weeks too late
birthday mail once more fleeing from the City of Angels?
Do you think I’m being foolish if I don’t rush in?
Do you ever wake wearily on that well-worn walking-street
wallet in pocket but loose baht pick-pocketed, long gone?
Ever feel these salad days are a lackadaisical daze of
hazy emotions: mad sad maybe a tad crazy
so you put pencil to paper, pen poetic, set the page ablaze
hands hastily diarizing the phrases your brain relays
creatively unfazed despite your lazy morning-after gaze, sight obscured
by rays of early sunlight heating the creeks on your cheeks through
the yellow-green taxi’s window, articulating so to explore that obfuscating
frustrating though beautiful amazing maize maze of feelings that sways, winds
litters your mind with right turns and wrong ways?
Yeah — me neither.
Have you ever been in the soot-black bean bags back by the bar
fists balled to a torrent of hot tears wondering
why the fuck
you’re still here still feeling this way that you are?
Ever laid in Lumphini Park for a sundress caress, a current of colored cotton
surging to touch glowing, flowing across hips, curves but
soon after eyes close to meet lips to lips you’re back
seated near the rear of the bus, tear streaked
wishing you had just bought the hostel bed
instead of the palace hotel room?
I too hope we can meet again.