We sat right at the bank of the river. Young. Bored. High.
The fog wasn’t cold but it was thick as tar
hiding every part of the night from us.
“Nothin’ happenin’ tonight” someone said.
And it was true. We were quiet and pensive,
mesmerized by the moody stillness of the water.
As we spoke and listened to the tiny echos of our voices
skipping out over its surface we heard a low groan
that we couldn’t recognize,
did not even notice growing louder as it approached.
Then suddenly through a pocket of open air,
a freighter cut out from the fog, enormous,
a ghost just in front of us, so close
that we thought we could reach right out and touch it,
gliding under the power of a growling invisible tugboat.
We sat breathless.
Its size, its proximity, its massive intrusive presence
spoke to us of the unfathomable sea,
whispered of nights in distant ports of the Orient;
filled with the music of the tymbol, the dumbak, or the sitar,
only hinted of the visions of the lanterns of the junks
dancing on the harbors of Hong Kong or Singapore,
the rainbows of silks in the streets of Jakarta or Madras,
and teased us about the scents of Jasmine and Hibiscus blossoms,
blended in the air with erotic incenses and whiffs of opium and hashish,
all to which it had voyaged and already left behind
long before we had even been born.
And as the fog swallowed it and the night coiled
slowly and completely around us again,
someone said, “Nothin’ happenin’ tonight”.
But we sat and stared silently one to another
and knew that moment was to be
a time and a place to which we could always return.