Slip Alley XII

Jack watches the morning blush
at Thi’s naked back,
a haze quilts the sea;
boats with junk sails
slide between limestone dragons
half submerged.
Jack smiles lasciviously
tracing Thi’s spine
with a warm finger.


Isamu rows,
following narrow chasms
between  floating mountains
in Ha Long Bay;
he looks at Cat Ba shrouded
in a haze, above the sky is growing blue.

He passes a water village,
incense wafts in new day air,
spirits of place offered whisky, beer
and cigarettes
in return for fish;
Isamu scatters
frangipani petals
as he rides the wave
into the beach;
a homage for three Tran women.

The boat hidden, Isumu
climbs the bluff to a mouldy
boardwalk snaking around
sheer mountain cliffs;
he walks with silent steps
practiced long ago, he recollects
how his dojo’s cane taught
him to creep across
floors with creaky traps.

Isamu snaps out of his revery.
His mark is swimming
in the pool. He finds a flattish stone
a small way up the mountain,
sits cross legged
to meditate.

Thi will come soon,
he nods to the hiding langur.


8 thoughts on “Slip Alley XII

  1. The intrigue deepens…junk sails, submerged dragons, and the sensuality of Thi, the exotic frangipani petals…this one is exceptionally beautiful I think. Breathlessly awaiting next installment!

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