Cambodia swallowed him like a pill
washed him down with ocean water –
mixed with sticky Khmer noodles,
Amok and curried vegetables hot
as equator sun – settled in the country’s
great belly, and some days still
it was hard to stomach him.
two months in the jungle country
in a one room apartment
with a woman, skin like split lychee
he peels fruit with his hands and
next day she is back for more.
six months of stripped fruit flesh and
she tells him, you fed me so much mango
i am growing one inside me.
his knees buckle beneath palm wine,
he climbs out of his skin
to bear the summer heat.
they drink cool broth from yesterday’s
noodle soup, lick salt from upper lips.
papaya skins the size of a baby
pile up in the sink.