Slip Alley VIII

Isamu sits cross legged chanting,
dressed in an antique black kimono,
incense smoke curl
ribbons grow dense,
shimmering in slanting golden light.

He weaves the smoke
into a woman’s body
using the samurai sword
he won long ago.
It was etched with dragons in his honour.
His yellow cat watches intently, purring
to the rhythm.

The cat meows,
stands and stretches,
her front claws scrape on the tiled floor,
Isamu smiles,
the woman’s soul has spoken.

He  seizes a silk scarf,
wafts away the smoky shapes,
smiling secretly he pours himself a saki,
shells a crab, shares it with his cat.

Isamu throws his window wide,
leans out watching the incense smoke
stream towards Cat Ba Island
and the sunset fizzle
in the haze of Halong Bay.

Tomorrow he will hire a boat,
he strokes his cat.


Jack sits in a bar in Haiphong,
the men with matching tattoos play dice,
Jack sips his Scotch on rocks, looks
for entertainment. A slender
beauty catches his eye,
she smiles pneumatically.

Her name is Thi,
her English is divine.
She likes an original
Victor Begron Mai Tai.

Tomorrow he’ll be in his room
at Cat Ba Resort, he wonders
if she’d like to share.

He flips a coin.


5 thoughts on “Slip Alley VIII

  1. oy how am i going to keep up with all these characters…haha….i really like the guy in the first part…some mystery to him between the sword and carving the smoke…and the cat….

  2. I am loving this series! But oooh, this Isamu, he is the most intriguing of them all. Fantastic imagery!

    I believe I’ve met Jack, and Thi too. Many of them in fact. Sigh.

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