Chalok Ban Kao

steam-ticket-front-cover-2015-1

Many thanks to Steam Ticket, a literary journal published buy the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, for publishing the following poem in their Spring 2015 issue.

Chalok Ban Kao                                           

                                                —Koh Tao, Thailand 

Privacy—so public here in paradise

  things best left behind bamboo

    a market stall of mango nuts

That couple on their morning stroll

  their steps into the soupy sea

    a flirty splash or two or three

 p

After a kiss, he’s stomping back to shore

  kicking the calm green buoyance

    girlfriend left to wonder what’s gone wrong

p

It’s bread and circus for the beach

  karaoke tourists, fools taking turns

    staging their small dramas for the bored

p

Even I and my coffee are seen

  woman alone at a teakwood table

    and I watch her watch me

 p

Here comes her tan companion

  her leading man, her garden palm

    their bickering falls like sudden rain

 p

My own companion’s abandoned me

  left at dawn for scuba school

    a Sunday swim with silent fish

 p

So much I’d like to say to her

  to issue my objections and complaints

    popping fried eggs in hot, hot oil

 p

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