If you were here,
we’d stare slack-jawed at the sky
as bats the size of small cats sublimated from tall trees at sunset.
We’d eat passionfruit by the spoonful
until our mouths puckered in protest.
We’d weave in and out of traffic like ninjas,
immune-oblivious to automotive laws.
We’d smile and then grimace
as garlic and fermented fish paste floated through the air
and then punched us in the face.
We’d take refuge from thunderstorms more ferocious than you could imagine
and listen to the fat raindrops play across a city of tin roofs.
We’d tease small children
and they’d tease us back.
Maybe you’re entertaining a temperamental redhead.
Maybe you’re winching and hoisting,
or doing battle with sparrows on your porch.
Maybe you’re respecting boundaries while searching for loopholes,
or putting the finishing touches on your fantasy football team.
But if you were here, you’d inhale your first breath of Cambodian air
perfumed and smoky,
as the intense red dirt worked its way into your skin,
then sank into your bones.
We’d watch cats chase geckos chase moths chase their own trails
placing bets on the victor over a 50 cent beer
and I’d tell you stories
that you wouldn’t believe…
I swear the flood waters rose this high
and the fire was just there across the riverbank
and that’s where they caught the crocodile.
We’d share an exasperated glance,
water shut off again after dinner.
Water shut off again before breakfast.
Water shut off again during your shower.
We’d be engulfed by proceedings both somber and joyful
then fight our way to sleep through dogfights
to be shaken from our beds at 6am by Khmer pop music
or chanting monks
or the horn repair shop just across the street.
We’d stuff ourselves silly on porridge and baby duck eggs
noodles and durian,
eggplant and pork.
Maybe you’re caressing clay.
Maybe you’re getting laid or getting high.
Maybe you’re 二日酔い.
Maybe you’re selling mattresses,
or assembling your shrine to Amanda Palmer.
Maybe you’re comfortable and inertia is a bitch.
Maybe you’re trying to figure out what to do with all the kale in your fridge,
or waiting for your Next Big Idea while corralling kiddos.
Which is really a shame
because we’d conspire like thieves,
and laugh like fools,
and live like there was no tomorrow
if you were here.български икони