Saturday, April 23, 2011

pumpkins and chops

Xieng Khuang _ Phosavan, Laos

those vast skies were the traces of war_
where we were told to look for
 Sivone and Sousath
the keepers of catfish and nuoc cham

nam jeem, gai yang, ping gai
- no offers !
law enforcers,
of mouths empty and toothless

against a chapping wall your back
 picks up pieces of posters and dirt

your fingers carry my fare
mustard seeds, earthroot and clove
they feed me pumpkins and chops
lure me in love with the hamlet of the Hmong

twenty years later
below the soft constellation tongues
the simple, salty streets
of a thousand booms
(like us)
were still waiting for the end of the fall of Saigon_

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