while on equatorial Galapagos they strut in ripstop trunks
with built-in liners, left untied for comfort
show off a swagger like soldiers in Kashmir
waiting in khaki and beige along rocky valleys.
Men in NYC’s hard waxed leather black out
in denim laps, the sprawling burlap smiles of country boys
near Bogota leave passersby breathing deep the odors run over
lazy hot days. Let Tel Aviv girls in green twill ankles
spray graffiti on the steps up Gonen near the occupied Golan.
Boys in pink knit terry drag slippery vinyl side bags down cliffs
scurrying to the bay to lose themselves in stories
with rough-and-tumble merchant marines
at the nudist beach near UBC.
Let manly girls in Barcelona and girly boys in Brazil
have shoulders exalted in duchess satin
have their faux-leopard-fur stilettos
as teens in Oklahoma City cling to their Harris tweed dinner jackets
on Saturdays while in the fields cheesecloth boys
run around in gauzy frayed and severed hems.
In the shadow of Mt. Shasta hippie girls
sew their mother’s hemp over holes torn in jean hems.
The disappointment of missed stitches, and raveling silk
tangles Shanghai boys fingering in the park.
Reversible boys in Berlin sport gingham hats and sail cloth shirts
by open windows on commuter carriages
while in Bombay girls bear patches of graffiti
on unbleached seersucker T-shirts
and boys alone in Westminster sleep in Thai silk boxers,
and boys in Antwerp prefer soft, crisp alpaca with cheap antung lining,
and flannel panty girls in Osaka are charmed
by gathering seams on the strapped chintz box with frog arms,
while polyurethane boys in Taipei pair giggling in white plastic glasses
and the magic touch of linens is surprisingly cool Jakarta summers.
Boys on San Francisco beaches
like fun snaps on synthetic batiste bikinis.
Retro girls in Bratislava tie home-dyed gauze at ankles,
the orange and red colors of sunset gurus.
Boys in Kafka’s Prague bear the reverse twill weave of herringbone to class
and a lone girl in Santiago dances
under the sheer swish of red and yellow organza
while polyester boys in St. Petersburg with camel hair sweaters
gather at the convenience store.
Boys in Hong Kong slide into the stainless steel tube
in quilted viscose jackets, no liners,
and West Side Latinos wear print boxers rumpling above the belt.
A boy in Winnipeg brushing the nap of his shoulder bag down sends signals.
On a chartered bus back from Crystal Mountain
couples doze in white nylon jump suits.
A Milan boy folds away his stiff gabardine raincoat,
and on Wall Street in lycra socks
it folds down a foulard bag flap, acetate and easily fraying.
Sicilian boys like sharp-shouldered blazer cloth
tailored soft to their waists, striped, the nap down.
Ladyboy legs are wrapped to the shins in the wet look of cire.
Paris girls tuck in the sheer, blue chiffon and yellow charmeuse blouses.
Boys in Tashkent go for loose tricots in basic colors.
Toronto teens space in flannelette pajamas
and blue pacifiers on transparent rose chains
while the boy in a looping boucle sweater
sidesteps not to snag the crowd on the Tokyo underground.
(Appeared in Going Down Swinging, Australia)