Like a man on stilts
My ungainly fingers
Climb on to two straight rods
Long and slender, like bamboo sticks
– Which to the non-Asian
Is a dilemma between plastic or wood –
As I scoop through my Pad Thai
The peanut powder and the drooping noodle
My second-string ambrosia
After all I cannot afford a dish
Of Duck with Hoisin sauce
As I stick my stilts on a porcelain plate
And work my way to a circus
Or a parade, rising noodle after noodle
Down my black-hole throat…….
I’m fascinated at the little Chinese boy – next to me
Who has perfected the art
Of fingers walking on stilts
And I, the Sri Lankan man
In Singapore, is just a plain old clown
Searching for a tryst with the orient
Laboring my way through the reckless noodle
Scooping strands of starch
And finally surrendering – with shame
As I look around – in drooped chin
At the watchers-by

As I think to myself
– The piano waltz would have been easier!


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