really living in the city

the areas the tourist people hate

see as difficult & dangerous

are the bits you love the most

being for you & yours alone

the darker places few lights

even less street cleaning

people your mother would not like

hanging out on the corners watching

as you bring your out of towners

with a don’t worry these guys know me

this is the best Chinese spot in town smiles

& you go into the warm spiced fug

hearing the clicking of the tiles

from behind a bamboo & plastic flower screen

the waiter appears slow from behind that

reluctant maybe to leave the game

throws you a couple of laminated menus

sit there sit there he points I bring the jasmine tea

& you sit as they look anxious over the menu

the girl comes out with the pots of jasmine

you want anything else? I come back

& everybody orders as the clicking tiles get louder

it is not until the food arrives & they nod approval

that any hint of relaxation happens

& you’ve done it helped them crack the code

given a story they can tell their boondock friends

life in the dangerous city twisted tales

where everything turns out right

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