The Thai people,
I’m told,
Like holidays—
All sorts of holidays:
Chinese, Buddhists, Christian;
All great occasions
To decorate the monster shopping malls.

Downtown, on Plenchit Street,
In a restaurant where I eat lunch—
Shrimp with cashew nuts,
Diet Coke with ice;
Kung gap med mamuang
Kok Zero, namkeng
An elderly waiter
Bent with age,
Bold except for
A few wisps of hair,
Is wearing a bright
Santa Clause hat.

He moves slower than usual,
He’s bent even lower than usual,
His eyelids are droopy,
The ridiculous hat is droopy.
My shrimp doesn’t taste right.


Spread the word!

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