I imagined a quiet kiss on the eyelids,
a brown shouldered woman
twisting water from her hair.
I imagined hibiscus flowers and wandering rhapsodists,
kampungs full of the wise and noble poor.
These visions stood like icons,
preserved in a tranquil, private corridor.
Then I arrived.
I saw Prada and mirror balls,
I saw mosques and malls built from the same bricks,
and just as full of faithful.
I saw races dining separately
and skyscrapers as sheer as knives.
there were half-lit handjobs.
illegal immigrants traded votes for ID cards.
A protestor called for a free elections
while the eyes of moral police cut left to right.
And everywhere modernity churned.
Second generationer's hope and despair!
To syphon stories from those who left years ago
and then think you understand.
A homeland is a bastard thing,
a chimera, shapeshifter,
to confuse to enlighten to confuse to enrich?
Under a dripping awning in Kuala Lumpur,
I see life swell immensely,
with laughter and chewing mouths.
My eyelids are kissed by sweet air.
I look across the street and
see a woman wringing water from her hair,
Taken from "Parang," out Feb 27th