Burying Myself

I touch, slowly and carefully, along the lines of my bones and wonder how this came to be. I look at my hands and they seem no different. Maybe a few more creases, a few more lines; slightly darker than the rest of me. The Khmer women wear elbow length gloves to shield their hands and arms from the sun. I stay covered up but not gloved: it seems an excessive vanity. The sun is wild here, not like at home where it heats up slowly, lazily climbing blue skies and drifting amongst white clouds: it gives fair warning of a hot day in its languid build up. Here it cranks itself up into the bleached out sky and aggressively torches the city, every day the same. My hands ought to look like frazzled bacon the amount of time they are exposed. They don’t. The changes are more subtle than that. I don’t notice until I slip off the gold band on my finger – then I can see the difference. A thin white ring remains; a ghost of a ring. How fitting. Continue reading



Let me shed this skin before
we come together. It is mere protection
from past pains, to be sloughed
with your coming.
The very air around you brings
a prickle of heat to the body, alights,
and wakes the sleeping soul within whose
muffled weeping stills, flutters and
cracks the armour with a sigh.
Let me now emerge, the true image
of self, breaking into myself, breaking
out of myself—
becoming myself.
With you, once again I am me.

© Ammie-oy 2010

Haad Tien

I left her there; on the beach
in the wet sand—
the real me, happy and free.
I couldn’t bring her home,
the real me.
She lives in her body with ease:
lean and free.
She’s the golden colour of peanuts,
skin salted by the sea, buffed with the grains,
hair tangled by gusts—
weather wild as she, feral and free.
Bare feet on storm whipped sand,
rocks scoured black with rain,
slicked over, tested by her foot—
strong toes curl, grip; she jumps
clean to the next beach.
She loiters briefly at Phi’s,
the first welcome, the first stop off rocks and earth,
out of trees and into light, back to sand.
On to Bpu’s welcome; Khun Yaai cooking omelette.
She walks back by dark, only moonlight
and her lover’s arms to guide her.
Wind swirls, ocean beats grainy shore
and the new jetty—gone,
and with it all fear of departure.
She lies in his arms
and the wind blows through.
The storm stirs the ocean to foam and five foot swells
and the spray joins the rain and sea
and keeps her there, keeps her from me.
I couldn’t bring her home,
the real me.
I could only leave her there,
living wild by jungle and sea—
the real me, happy and free.


© Ammie-oy 2010