Chalok Ban Kao


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


After a kiss, he’s stomping back to shore

  kicking the calm green buoyance

    girlfriend left to wonder what’s gone wrong


It’s bread and circus for the beach

  karaoke tourists, fools taking turns

    staging their small dramas for the bored


Even I and my coffee are seen

  woman alone at a teakwood table

    and I watch her watch me


Here comes her tan companion

  her leading man, her garden palm

    their bickering falls like sudden rain


My own companion’s abandoned me

  left at dawn for scuba school

    a Sunday swim with silent fish


So much I’d like to say to her

  to issue my objections and complaints

    popping fried eggs in hot, hot oil



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