Jul. 26th, 2009

Kingsway

I.
Tonight I want to eat
in the run-down identical Chinese restaurants
behind the frosted glass
sing
at the leaking neon Vietnamese karaoke bars
I want to go inside
the second-floor storefront apartments
a single pane between me and the street
lay face down next to you
on the cheap living room carpet
and breathe in
two decades of cigarettes.

What royalty
and who its people
laid out with me tonight
head to toe down Kingsway
while the hot summer rain
licks the old pavement clean.

II.
Put me back in the aisles
of half-empty supermarkets
among people
who make me genuinely uneasy
turn up the tinny radio
in the second-hand car lots
and let the midnight traffic
edit our conversation.

Tonight I am dreaming
of people I don’t understand
in places I don’t want to go
the night takes me awkwardly in its arms
the smell of nervous sweat
clinging to its tattooed neck.

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