Macau

We were washing down noodles with Port.
Olive oil
ran down our arms
like sun through the shutters,
faster, shinier than skin.
Neither diseased nor young,
we were awkward;
too old to marry, too tired to court,
a couple of stone monkeys
bartered to half in the market
then left in a bag on the bench.

We shifted our chairs,
our minds going home to our mothers.
They would not decide for us,
before, then, or later,
but would want us anyway,
not in the way
we wanted to be wanted
by anyone else.

The restaurant sink filled with virus.
The water drained one way,
your smile another.
"I thought it was always clockwise,"
your voice down under your brows.
"I don't know," I said,
and we went down ungracefully.

Now I regret everything
though I do know that I have not died.
Others sank singly, in pairs,
in hand tailored swirls to the left
or right, I don't know.
The Australians were not amused
and rose half from their chairs
and we half stopped talking.

We were tabled a space from the door,
a portion from where we were going
or went.
We were splitting a bill in Macau
and a cab,
half of a gesture apiece.
The evening both came and went;
you went.

I regret that,
and everything sounding like half-spent youth,
some things a little bit more
than less,
a little more now
than then.
Mostly I regret not feeling
even by half
I'd have regretted it more
had you'd stayed.





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