Slip Alley XXX

Ollie buttons up his black silk shirt,
splashes on some Polo aftershave,
frowns critically at his reflection.
His left eyebrow seems twitchy.

He finds a taxi in the street,
heads to Lake Hoan Kiem
to meet his offsider, May.

May waits by the red wooden bridge
to Ngoc Son Temple
people watching. She buys
roasted corn on a stick
from a vendor wearing a Homburg.
She speaks to him in French
and listens to his stories
of how when he was young
these streets were deserted…

Ollie’s taxi pulls up by the bridge,
he scans the crowds for May,
saunters to her side, snapping
pictures as he goes.

May tells Ollie
all about Isamu, tells him
she’ll meet him on the beach
at Cat Ba …


Isamu  sits on Cat Ba beach,
behind him tourists splash and play
in the resort’s pool,
he looks at Thi and Phong,
hands them both a beer,
they clink and drink.

Soon it will be time
to wake Jack for dinner,
by the evening’s end he’ll believe
he has been cruising
around the floating islands
snorkelling and
finding pirates’ caves with Thi,
Phong and Thi giggle,
Jack will be a cat’s paw
by the time they’re through.

Eric the Red lies sleeping
in a luxurious suite,
trussed up just in case …


2 thoughts on “Slip Alley XXX

  1. Ha! I love that first stanza with the Ralph Lauren hook about the Polo aftershave…it fools reader into a sense of normalcy…but oh no…this particular chapter gives me a strong sense of something major about to happen…a kind of setting of the scene..something big to come..whoa! Very vivid…love the street vendor with the hamburg, beaches,snorkeling…and Eric the Red trussed up..just in case…I’m on the edge of my seat here…waiting for XXXI…you master you!!

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