Naked Like That (Kep Bungalow)

Tonight I miss America
at night.

Tonight I miss tambourines and harmonicas.
I miss the low whistle
of a train through the dark.
I miss fog-soggy sidewalks
and boys with stubbly beards
smoking cigarettes,
windshield shards
glittering beneath their sneakers
like that:

I miss driving home—
Bay Bridge jaundice,
hungry tunnel howling,
ears ringing
and headlights
like a lonesome pair of eyes.

I missed cracked windows
and cup holders,
the arch of 580
to 24,
the moment before
the highways touch

And I miss that city
laid out beneath me
and glittering

For one still moment

Like that
Like how I miss that—
Something I could almost touch
At night.

Tonight I’ve got the jungle.
Tonight I’ve got
Cambodia’s muggy black
of birds crying and geckos belching,
the low drone of insects
trying to get in.
Tonight I’ve got the world
behind a mosquito net
and the sea somewhere—
I can hear it.

I’ve got sheets and the shape
of some still body;
I’ve got a lonesome pair of eyes
probing in the dark
and all the goddamn stars in the world,
glittering like that

Naked like that

Like how I’ve always been—
Splayed and waiting

And breathing in the dark.

4 Responses to “Naked Like That (Kep Bungalow)”

  1. 1 Richard February 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Beautiful. Still, and beautiful. Nighttime sometimes feels like the period when the world has free reign to come in and assault my senses. When tings slow down just enough for the elegant thoughts to form.

  2. 2 Ekua February 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Awesome poem. I feel homesick for SFO and I still live here. I took on a little side gig and it means I probably won’t be able to go too far on my summer break. To be honest, it’s made me a little anxious. This post has me thinking of what I love about the Bay- including the things that make me roll my eyes or sigh but inevitably say “home.” I have a feeling that one day I’ll see another poem from you that’s written from here or some other part of the world and you’ll be missing those steamy Cambodian nights 🙂

  3. 3 Cathy Nguyen February 29, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Your entries are my escape from the mundane tasks of every day life in the US. Forgive me if I come off as pretentious (because I don’t know the entirety of your situation), but I would rather be lonely in a strange place than not experience it at all. I hope your homesick pangs are put at ease soon. Nostalgia is a goddamned bitch sometime, but you embrace it and turn it into something relatable and poetic. Thanks, dude.

  4. 4 josambro March 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I was thinking the other day, in silent answer to a question someone’s facebook status asked about what city I’d like to live in were cost not an issue, “San Francisco”, which is close to where I am going to wind up. It is close to Tannelorn, that city where veterans from psychic wars can know peace. But so expensive… so the mountains perhaps, Lake county, bicycling distance….

Comments are currently closed.

Lauren Quinn is a writer and traveler currently living in Hanoi. Lonely Girl Travels was a blog of her sola travels and expat living from 2009 to 2012. She resides elsewhere on the internet now.

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