Poetry: Intersections

by Jam Kraprayoon
.

To understand Bangkok,
its concrete blocks, streets and klongs
is a matter of geometry.

Its slums and tenements lie parallel,
growing wider and higher,
though their people rarely meet.

For years, your lives ran apart.
He was the youngest of five,
the first to leave the farm for the city.

Your grandfather, billionaire,
sent you to board at Bradfield College
and to read fine art at Saint Martins.

You two met at an intersection
where your car’s grey nose split open
and upended him.

Tires burnt on tarmac as you swerved,
bones crack as he’s plowed through,
blood splatters on the black road.

The cops trace the line of brake fluid
down Sukhumvit, to Circuit de Monaco,
to your accounts in the Virgin Islands.

Here, laws and lives are two-tracked,
they’ll run near but never meet
and if they do, they cross but once.

To understand Bangkok,
its tangled bowels and bellied mess, 
is a matter of geometry.

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