Two-hundred and Eighty-three: Hanoi Hell

It has been 933 days since that time we lost ourselves
in the Hanoian alleyway labyrinth.
We walked in whorls,
turning corners like Tetris blocks,
holding our courage with chopsticks,
shocked that we could be so lost
in such a small space. I remember
the skinny shadows, sinister and deceptively distant,
stretching and scaring us into a surreal reality
where there was nothing but us and walls.
And I remember the stamp-sized dogs (rats, we had joked in the daylight)
standing en guarde in entrances, enraged,
and the way their barks stung the night,
making me jump. I clung to you and let you lead
(for once), holding hands, clam-tight, so tight that they
swelled as we fell through this nautilus shell of foreign everything.


We spun through those streets for so long,
dizzy with worry, wanting only to find the lake,
our own North star, our landmark of water.
We whirled in circles until -hallelujah!-
we saw it in its indigo midnight glory.
And then we ran! our feet padding the ground in even sequences-
we are in this together.
It was you and me against the alleyway enemy.

That night I felt the seventh worst feeling I have ever had.
The blue we saw was not the colour of freedom.
It was another fucking wall, painted in night-lake hues.
I wept with powerlessness as you tried to find the horizon.
You, my dear sailor, that I have since thrown overboard.

I followed you that night,
but when we finally spat ourselves out onto the Ithacian dream of ho tây,
you tore off your sailor status  and knotted yourself behind me.
You were only a hero in the shadows.

Now, looking back, I can grasp our Fibonacci demise.


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I drink, I laugh, I smoke, I write.

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