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Apr 2017
Spent the evening walking nowhere streets
dodging horns and sirens of hungry motorbike taxis.
It was a parade of street-food vendors,
security guards half asleep by bottles of whiskey.
Every woman I passed was beautiful,
laid their *** on the numbered tables
as off-hand as their mobile phone, their purse;
their bored men. Each one had their toenails painted,
wore short skirts and vest tops in the stifling heat.
The best of them wore tight dresses of black or red
and ate their food in the same studious manner
I imagined they would take to the zip of my jeans.

Could feel the sweat roll down my back
kicking gravel out my sandals every ten strides.
The playboys rev their motorbikes
as if it were a talent they had been working on,
a kind of siren song to tempt the free women.
Each one is on the lookout for a bargain.
Each one streaks past to some indiscernible point
where they will bury themselves amongst
the massage parlours, karaoke bars, and short-stay hotels;
Each one a straight-up brothel once you make it through the doors.
I feel too awkward in this ******* town to order a sandwich
let alone try out my second language to ask for a cheap *******.

Every foreigner here had some kind of breakdown.
Some kind of complex that drew them like a moth to flame
to some place where white skin is enough to feign riches,
stimulate desire and place you amongst better men.
We steal a living for a year or two of forever blue skies.
We eat good food and toast ourselves every evening
with cold lager and palm leaf cigarettes.
We cannot read a word in these humid streets
where every single building holds a portrait of the King.
Spent the evening with my shadow, both alive in the night
beneath the heady aroma of cooking oil and street-food spice,
both hurting to become, both slipping out of sight.
Edward Coles
Written by
Edward Coles  26/M/Hat Yai, Thailand
(26/M/Hat Yai, Thailand)   
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