Last Days of August

By | 8 June 2020

It’s a concrete August swelter in Hong Kong this year,
Where even the sidewalk cracks melt into uniformity,
Steamed by the slower, sun-broiled diminished crush of the city,
Lower Kowloon’s consumed in a rare seasonal siesta,
Its denizens for once sauntering, rather than scampering

Deep-chilled from the fiercely arctic conditioning of Nathan Road’s shopping empires,
Lured by the lurid, the garish displays and ice-fire,
The city, in its rest, has gained what I thought it never had,
A sweet, clean, hard resonance of jazz,
That straight-ahead, vibrating-off the tenements and glass skyscrapers alike
Wayne Shorter horn, deep, brassy, bright,
In contrast to the sodden, stale haze silhouetting the sky,

Even that’s almost acceptable, something near alright,
As the heat gives way to the evening breeze, and the sun gives way to streetlights.
On the edge of the peninsula, last ferry of the night, I give into saudade,
A bittersweet Brazilian Stan Getz inflected nostalgia,
In tribute to the last days of August,
In memoriam to the last day of August,
Final note fluttering into the fragrant smoke the second I alight.

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