I, Back From Vacation

Finally, another poem about Cambodia. I knew more would come. I didn’t know it would take this long. Maybe it was the intensity of the place, the way it burns oddly in my mind – It’s like a candle you might have left burning, but you’re on bottle number two at the restaurant, and did you blow it out or didn’t you?

I, Back From Vacation

Back from Cambodia, in at the office.
The return of the shafts to the mind.
The gears. The rudder. The wheel.
     1 and 1 equals 1 again.

overseas, where machinery molders
naked kids scatter the muds
play in the remains, a France brought too far.

durian, fermented fish, flies on the plates.
eat with the hands. sweat. grandma’s bloody teeth –
‘betel-quid’. chawed to fade. an old free.

scooter kids, zip and sling, chthonic traffic
the yellow rues of Batambang
    one and one and one
mud busses, green sense, buffalo in mists,
    Cambodia.