Bus in Vietnam

We left Hanoi far behind, threw off
the scooters like they were wasps

around a picnic. Slipped into a rolling
landscape like feet beneath

a blanket, made serene as nodding cows by
rice paddies and the appealing ice-cream cones

of Vietnamese hats; just like posters,
propped on heads riding bicycles in the half-light.

We’re a minibus of nationalities – at least six tongues

mould the mountains into
postcard-perfect anecdotes.

We passed under a thunderstorm
that drowned the roads. In the
post-storm everything is hanging pure

green blankets, overfull and
bursting. I’m listening to Patti Smith

screaming coral flames and Jesus dying for somebody’s sins and

we’re taking photos of the water-logged
roads. I should be looking at

the mountains, curving into
a grey and yellow Heaven

not the eyelashes, curled fists of the
sleeping guy I’m bumping thighs with

but it’s hard to write
this shared heaviness into words when

all that joins us is that we’re in the
same up-down, over-warm minibus

In the same spot, seeing the same
pools overflowing like pots of gold and
feeling the same pressure

to remember how the land looked
before the sky turned from grey to

yellowed blue, like smoke
from a crematorium.

About fiercemissc

Twenty-something Geordie girl living and working in Hong Kong. Young, free and single and making the most of it.
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