Poetry / March 2014 (Issue 23)

Ca-ching China - Hong Kong Roofscape

by Deborah Guzzi

The buildings topple, crumble and bloom,
Abundantly, anamorphically;
like Lego’s mixed with boxes of Wheat Chex,
tumbling with domino like perfection.

Clean clothes dance; tops, bottoms and skivvies,
on makeshift racks and tattered lines,
out the gap-toothed, acid rain etched, windows of tenements;
crowned with jagged shards of broken glass.

Rust crusted lays like icing, peeling from stucco rooftop hovels.
Tottering TV antennas prick an ashen sky.
Megalithic bridge spans dance nightly in purple neon
serving as a twenty-first century tourist distraction.

Cardboard and woven grass shanties hide the minions.
Daylight finds them behind white-collars and Disneyesque props.
A deviously polite populous swarms
coloring the streets like confetti with Gucci and glitz,
herding westerners with their bottomless purses,
past a blizzard of signage and squirming delicacies,
potted plants and blighted trees

toward the cash boxes of China.
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