Chinatown

by Yosha Bourgea

An overcast San Francisco afternoon.

Chinatown. Pulling me by the arm,
my mother walks quickly past the sidewalk markets
where they sell old soft oranges,
cabbages, bad radios, cheap shoes.
I have a cold. My head is full
of dreams and I cannot keep up.


I dream a saucer-eyed dragon
grinning with long, lolling tongue,
breathing white porcelain clouds
across the sky. They drift, aimless boats,
sticks flagged with leaves
and set upon the river. Old man in a jacket
tosses me a good luck orange, but I miss.
It bobs along the curb, then goes under.


Again I let go of her hand.
Like a leaf floating on water
I lose myself quickly in the rush
of coats. Where am I going?
I am the drowning boy.
Nothing to look for now,
not abandoned mother, not lost luck.
The current closes my eyes.
-

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