The fuselage must gleam
in a pink Pacific sunset
at 29000 feet
inside, I am brought puffed cellophane pouches of tamarind by attendant ladies and men
and a sanitary case wraps my pillow.
Bangkok’s taxis are driven by a man with bones for a neck on cracked
roads that vanish into blind ways.
Later a child – spying left – pulls me through a curtained door into an ante-room to
sell me cling-wrapped copies of Japanese slasher movies. “Cheap!”
Flies circle a mound of meat spiked to a vending cart -- “special for you.”
A sea of mopeds rumble up the road and chase me between parked cars
Tattered hunks of plastic bag blow past off the beach.
At night gut rot infects the air, and I walk in brown puddled streets.
The tar sky smothers above the neon and the barkers and the sex for $10. This last part was in the guidebook.
A woman sits, cloaked in a shawl, selling women’s apparel, all arranged on pale and chalky mannequins, angled at attention.
They wear the rouge of the truth-telling jester.
Their mouths are gaping, smiling, lurid, laughing, howling. Eyes wide, piercing and empty, excited.
They look like me. And I look away.
The woman’s throat moves. Or does she chuckle?