I. The City

I.
Masks

In the city
We find the temples
The temples of sacred men
wearing their sacred masks

In the city
We find the schools
The schools of teeming children
wearing their children’s masks

In the city
We find the gold seeking men

Wearing their merchant masks

In the city
We find the greedy men
Wearing their gamblers masks

Let us not forget the women
In the city
Always there are women
Wearing their women’s masks

Not all good women either
These women of the city
With their women’s masks

The teachers and the whores
The mothers and the nuns
The wives and the shop girls
Wearing women’s masks

All these women
Hiding their faces
The same as men
All wearing their masks

II.
Saigon

But not just any city
This is Saigon
The city of opium
The city of oblivion

This is Saigon
The city of heat
The city of light

This is Saigon
The city of life
The city of love

This is Saigon
The city of death
The city of ghosts

Saigon
But not just any Saigon
This is the Saigon of the 30’s

The Primitive 30’s
The Colonial 30’s
The Depression 30’s
All True, so true

But not for long
Not in Saigon
No, not for long.

Yamabuki
July 2010

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