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.