by Reid Mitchell
Hiring Mourners in Wan Chai
I hired a whore the night my father died
gather ye mourners where ye may
and friendless I left myself by faring so far
a Thai woman with a Chinese face lay in my bed till day
I sat at this desk, drank whisky, and cried
Editors' note: Read "A Cup of Fine Tea: Reid Mitchell's "Hiring Mourners in Wan Chai"" here.
54 Leighton Street
I open my window to better hear the rain
below me pedestrians under umbrellas float
bright blossoms on a stream
some signs I cannot read
Ten Dollars Hong Kong
She does not beg; she demands.
And her round sooty face, rolling eyes, raucous screech
have rushed to conclusion.
So many speeches between a man and a woman
on the patch of sidewalk in front of Fenwick's.
The girls view her as good a good luck charm,
as any saint stamped on metal,
and hardly ever allow a drunk to grab her
and kick her to the concrete in front of Fenwick's.