History lesson

September 9, 2020

        Tainan, Taiwan, 1990

Lingering by the iron pump—
its handle a lazy S—
and the shards strewn about
among clover-leafed weeds,
the girl gestured her once-haunts
to the brown-haired foreign boy.
Pointed to yellowed houses
slipped slightly from old moorings,
lightly slapped the red
brick wall, the chipped
tiles of pomegranates
and glazed peaches. “Before,”
she said, “I lived here.”
Mute and sweating,
he stepped back, stepped back.