Curry Laksa, small restaurant, Malaysia
In the left hand
In the right

Spicy hot
Hot hot
Curry Laksa

Tea with milk
Black black tea
Condensed milk
Sweet Hot
And thick

In the heat
In the hot hot
Of midday
Blinds down
For the sun
Glassless window
For the air
Sultry breeze
Trifling with the sweat
On my arms
On my brow
Defying the breeze
In the hot and humid

Watching the buses
People coming
People going
Locals all
But for she and I
Eating laksa
Drinking tea
Watching the world

And sometimes I think
I should have been watching her
Before I walked away
Carrying the emptiness
Of love in half measures

I shake my head
Remind myself
The emptiness she couldn’t fill
In the hot hot heat
Was mine

I looked at her
I looked at people
I wasn’t looking
At myself
And the emptiness
Which was always mine to fill

Walking away
Was the beginning
Of looking at myself
Walking away
Was the beginning
Of filling the emptiness

Like a cool cool breeze
For both of us
Heated as it seemed
At the time
Hot hot
For both of us

Curry Laksa
Some small restaurant
Beside some small bus depot
In some small city
Somewhere in Malaysia

Taken during travels, 1995