All posts tagged: poems

Dances for Salavan

When the mangoes ripen in the smiling sun I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. Wearing a white sinh dress. I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. The deep forest valley will tap its toes. I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. When the frangipanis create a rustling choir. I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. And the moonshine sky a glass floor. I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. With children’s bodies rolling waves. I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. And elephant tusks of songs. I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. Ghostly bamboo houses and whistling grass. I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. Oh Laos, oh winds of sweet rice fields! I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. Oh dried tears and senseless fire! I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. Drops of sugar canes, empty hillside, gazing sunset! I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. I always said I’d dance my feet in Salavan! Wearing a white sinh dress. I’ll dance my feet in Salavan. Rice whiskey dripping from red painted mouth. I’ll dance my …

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: