chiang mai love poem by Meg Eden

 

the ladyboy jumps into our songtaew

battered feet in heels too small

wig tilted, false flower falling from her hair

underneath: her throbbing adam’s apple.

what I remember most clearly: her hairy legs, scalded

from the knee down

as if someone rolled her through a parking lot of bike mufflers

& the ends of her skirt burned as if bitten.

she holds up her fingers, fat like bananas with callouses

she talks like any girl: please, kha. no money, kha. just need to go a few blocks, kha.

& all I can think to ask her is: how did you get in our taxi without money?

she presses for a stop & jumps over the back of the truck bed

into the pitch black Thailand night.

what about the burns on her legs? won’t they get

infected in this elephant heat, bare

in a mosquito city sky—

he is so she is so bare

with love, she will be eaten raw by fire

for love, I am still afraid of the idea

of being touched by a man.

 

MEG EDEN’s work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle. She teaches at the University of Maryland. She has four poetry chapbooks, and her novel Post High School Reality Quest is forthcoming June 2017 from California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. Check out her work at: megedenbooks.com.