Chinese New Year, Sanya, Hainan Island, People’s Republic of China, 1986
Elegant and dramatic in a timeless discount warehouse way,
not only does this surface protect and seal the composite material beneath,
it is easy to clean with a damp cloth.
It is seamless.
It's the odor of sweat and coconut oil and the musk that pours off both our bodies
as we're fucking in the strong South China sun on the balcony of our hotel room.
It's a head full Chinese vodka and the aftertaste of beer--yeast and hops and something else—and the aftertaste of vagina, musk and low orchids. It's almost summer.
"Fists of Wushu Whirling Around in the Air Really Fast" is on the downstairs television
and fists of wushu are making that shrill snapping-fabric noise which may or may not be a special effect.
It's the same images over and over again, the same odors and the same sounds;
damp grass, diesel, lonely roads, a high wall with broken glass embedded on top.
It is rotten chlorophyll and meat, the air warm, perhaps chemical, perhaps not.
There are crickets and dogs barking,
there are lights in the distance,
house lights and streetlights and headlights,
but it is always dark.
As we walked along chatting, we drew near a beggar.
"Spare a yuan?" the ragged guy raggedly croaked.
Without saying anything, Sara reached into her coat pocket and
Pulled out one of our miniature bottles of vodka.
"There you go," she said as she held it out to the beggar.
"Thanks," the guy said. "You’re okay for dead demon foreign ghosts."
What if A-bombs are really some kind of time machine and all the people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki who got "vaporized" were actually kicked out and away and somewhere else and they exist there still in that moment when the bombs exploded?
Once, back in America, when I was walking along thinking about something else completely, a bum asked me, “Spare change?” and I said “No, thanks.” I thought he was trying to give me some of his.
And still I return to those memories of rotten fish, of my friends and their flesh,
of burning grease an aphrodisiac in the air heavy and thick around us,
why we put those flavors in our mouths,
upon what that oil were smeared
for us to savor and taste and
return to again and again in our heads.