The Chao Le

housed in two human zoos constructed
for their survival’s sake on the east &
west coasts of koh lantah it’s good to know
that the chao le are still allowed to play
football on the beach at low-tide its wave
sounds mimic the crowd-roars of wembley
coming down the supermarine cable all
the young men & boys clip their finger &
toenails in preparation for the referee’s
inspection tomorrow they will collect these
clippings & together with various haircut-
offcuts launch their offerings upon the
andaman sea in a special wooden boat after
which they gaze longingly half-hoping the
tide will bring it back knowing also that
some small part of themselves has escaped
both the zoos & the fickle sea-spirits’ protection

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