Monday, 8 March 2010

From One End

I tell my friends, what you expect to find
at the end of a dead end road turning to dirt
along a crumbling beachhead?
Crushed glass of tossed beer-brown bottles.
Scraps of plastic and Styrofoam from fast-food beverages.
Thin plastic vendor bags of bones licked clean, tied in a knot—
heaped on upside-down steel barrels.
Dogs sniffing around can’t find them.
When a concrete hotel shell built itself off the beach
the interior vanished in insurance flames.
The retaining wall hollows out, the road is next,
lined with bald, bandanaed Norwegians loitering on Hoggs
with beer cans in hand and open carburetors
carrying them away. Most of the retirement colony is sedate,
lots of strolling husbands and wives and trailing maids or lovers.
Sometimes the lover rides with the husband on one scooter
and the wife takes chase on another, putting along to avoid collision.
I saw a pretty young American with a chubby gigolo in tow.
The rule of thumb: the escorts walk behind
(like servants, or wives in some cultures),
while those in love go hand in hand into old age.

(February 2010, Cha Am, Thailand)

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