A Flat Tire in the Hutong

These jeans
haven’t been washed
in over six weeks
and the bottom of my pack
is stuffed with dirty underwear.

Sweat drips down my dusty forehead
as I sip jasmine tea in the twilight alley.
A wrinkled man with puffy bags beneath his eyes
crushes a cigarette
into the bottom half of a broken jar.

My bicycle leans against the brick wall.
A flat tire on a strange road
leaves me with this quiet moment,
somewhere between a dream
and Lotus Lane.

(Edited: 04/11/2007)

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