2 poems by Stephen J. Golds “Boat Trip in VietNam” “Bus Stop Man”

Boat Trip in Viet Nam

Sitting on that boat in Halong Bay. 

The guide gesturing wildly at the cliffs 

telling us this one 

was shaped like a chicken 

and that one 

an elephant. 

The Orange Vietnamese sun on the water. 

Eating spicy fish prepared in the boats kitchen. 

You told me it was delicious and everything was so very beautiful. 

Perfect you said snapping photographs and kissing my neck. 

Perfect, I thought. Yes, it’s perfect. 

After the meal I smoked a cigarette at the stern, 

Watching the rats that infested the kitchen 

Fucking each other and shitting over everything. 

Bus Stop Man

Still think about him often.

The man in the green raincoat,

garbage bags for suitcases and the

burn scars molding his face.

Sitting all day at the same stop.

Everyday waiting for the same bus

that never came. Telling everyone

waiting there his wife had fucked another man.

Scratching, picking himself bloody.

Eyes passed filmy, glazed. Nothing but flesh on finger.

Still I wonder if that woman knew he loved her enough

to drive himself insane and

whether she even thought

about him or wondered

where he was

at all now?

Stephen J. Golds was born in London, U.K, but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling, boxing and listening to old Soul LPs. His novels are Say Goodbye When I’m Gone (Red Dog Press) Always the Dead (Close to the Bone) Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows and the story and poetry collection Love Like Bleeding Out With an Empty Gun in Your Hand. He is also current Poetry Editor of Close to the Bone @scatterofashes

Photo by Mos Sukjaroenkraisri