Indonesia in January
Trapped between littered roads,
the river whips around curves and bends,
carrying plastic Coke bottles manufactured in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rain parades down in Christmas bulb drops,
wrapping Denpasar in a festive gray.
Trash bag ponchos stand in for umbrellas, and
water-logged dogs lacking tails brush sunblocked legs
as they chase children lacking shoes or parents.
Twelve- year-old girls, baskets of
fruits on their heads, call, “excuse me?
excuse me?” to the empty wind
while their brothers study English and chemistry in a quiet room.
Foreign fruits, rambutans and mangosteens, crack and bleed,
their scents sweet and heavy in January humidity.
Middle-aged couples from Ohio or Wisconsin
tuck passports into name-brand fanny packs
hidden under freshly pressed white tank tops,
away from thieves.
Their palms incubate silver coins with engraved birds
and yellow, pink, and green bills that count for nothing in San Francisco.
Buy all you want.