Friday, April 14, 2006

Payday Loans (17 of 31)

At night my body woke and roamed the sum
of streets. Behind shop windows, old men aged
defending countertops and daily waged
fathers hunched over woks. The streets were dumb.
Inside a bar, young gods swallowed their rum
and coke, working sweet mouths, throats, barely caged
in filled-out shirts. I sat alone, loved, raged
until I heard Cavafy whisper “Come
this way.” Then I felt like Xerxes when a low
Hellene revealed the local thoroughfare;
or like a shy suitor who turned to go
but recognized the stranger on the stair
and followed. In his room, he held me—Oh!
relieved me of myself, wet underwear.

2 comments:

Larry said...

Very impressive, Jee. Brilliant first 4 lines. I'm slightly flustered about not knowing if the voice is real or imagined - but the allusions are weaved in well.

Thanks,
Larry

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi Larry,
thanks for dropping by again. Thanks for the kind words. I am enjoying your NaPoWriMo work. Keep going.

Jee Leong