Sleepless In Bangkok
Once more my last evening in Bangkok.
I know that even if I’m lying in bed, the roads here
Such as Suanplu and Sathorn are tongue-tied
In the consuming silence and blaze of streetlights,
Very much akin to my mind that couldn’t be conquered
By slumber. We are all wide awake,
Traveling through the space of nothingness,
Floating, arching, hovering, every thought gets broken,
Drifted away through the current of an elegiac river,
Perhaps to Mekong or Tonle Bassac in Cambodia where
Weeks from now I could hurl my fierce memories.
All this despite of a woman who until now
Cannot be charmed by poetry,
Because to her it’s no different from a lover
Who picks on a roundabout way of baring
His soul, hiding behind doors of different meanings.
Still I will tell her if our lives converged
Once again in one hospitable season
That the experience of a poem is like
The quenching of a thirst from a relentless scourge
Of summer or suffering or a struggle
With one’s feeling or fate. Every pulse is shattering
And light can penetrate through the numbest of heart.
On another chance, if ever, she will all the more
Understand my evenings that couldn’t sleep
Just like now in one corner in Bangkok,
Inscrutable, obscure. This will happen,
My dreams are fervent, my desire without border,
Apart from one truth that we had burned
An evening in a remote past,
Wayward lovers from a country whose
Self-same pain we had both deserted.
18 July 2000