Fourteen Hours

West-coast

Staring out the Gulf of Thailand
dreaming the South China Sea.

Fourteen hours away
They are in yesterday
and I have leapt ahead.

The Himalayas gleamed
and towered and reigned.
Rice fields stretched Ks into the haze.

Sun baked the tops of
garlanded buses
carrying skin, bodies, packs.

They washed, I watched.
They burned, I watched.
They stared, I watched
and watched.
They begged, I begged.
They stayed, I left.

Jungle now
and sea.
Blue snakes writhe
through sharp underwater rocks
The humid makes my hair curly.

Can I go back in time,
to yesterday’s me
or cut the cord
stay in tomorrow
where I speak American
and love and hate and fear and courage
all feel the same?

They wake up to Cheerios,
sofas
TVs with March Madness
while I dine on snapper and Singha
licking my fingertips
in a shack
filled with smoke and all the languages of the world.

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