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The Potomac is not the Mekong

The Potomac is not the Mekong.

If I close my eyes,
I don’t see eagles on the hunt
Soaring over a river
The color of muted grey clouds.
I see fishermen below,
Their bamboo rafts floating
On a sunset’s golden reflection,
The river shining and flowing
Between me and Nong Khai.

I smell not
Wet pavement
And overpriced steak
But the aromatic pungent smell
Of padaek glazed grilled duck
Sold for 15,000 kip.

If I cover my ears
I don’t hear the deafening rush
Of trafficked destined cars
On Woodrow Wilson Bridge
But the harmonic chanting
Of Wat Sop’s saffron monks.
I hear the sputtering motorbikes
Of young lovers
Riding through empty roads,
Leaving echoes of laughter
And clouds of dust
In their wake
At dusk.

The Potomac is not the Mekong
Just another chapter,
Some river,
In a once empty book.


In A.Ou’s own voice:

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: A. Ou Poem at Little Laos On The Prairie – Laomagination

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