Poetry / August 2008 (Issue 4)

Two Macau Poems

by Papa Osmubal

At Hac Sa Beach, Macau      

The moon is a wide-eyed owl,
eavesdropping at our every word,
gazing at us while we walk naked
reliving our days in the womb
where the world is all water, wind and fire.
Our shadows are amphibians
thriving among sands, pebbles, and waves.
The night is warm like blood and breath.
Our silence reverberates in the wind.
We are a testament to Eden's total mystery:
am I broken from your ribs
or are you broken from mine?
I know of no science nor theology
to tell why our whispers have wings and songs.

Macau Night: Rua da Felicidade

By the window, half of his face
was yellow with the sheen of the moon.
The entire room was deaf and dumb.
The burning tip of his cigarette
was a worried eye in the dark.
He stood and fixed his dress.
After opening the door slowly and carefully
as though a thief accomplishing a task,
he handed her the agreed sum of money.
A simple smile and slight nod of the head
clearly meant goodbye and courtesy.
He disappeared in the dark, leaving the door open.
It would remain open for the rest of the night
to keep the moonlight creeping in
and to welcome more souls searching
for minutes of paid whisper and warmth.

(Rua da Felididade is a Macao street that registered its notoriety in Macao history for its brothels and makeshift casinos.)

Editors' note: Read "A cup of fine tea: Papa Osmubal's "At Hac Sa Beach, Macau"" here.

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