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it takes me back to Pattaya, where the lawn chairs
had rusty legs and you wear blue bottoms
as i rub sunscreen on your baby-soft skin.
i am wearing the revealing polkadot one piece
nudging your arm, i whisper check out my mango tits
& you tilt your head back as you laugh

vendors sell fresh seafood,
dividing crabs from their shells,
they slather them in butter & garlic.

women with big smiles call out ‘hey, beautiful’
& for a moment, i almost understand self-love.
you take my hand and we run across the hot sand
into an ocean filled with floating garbage.

you hold me in your arms, as we sneak a kiss
real quick, so your parents don’t see from the shore.
giggling like two lovesick kids,
you toss me in the air so i can fly

across the street, straight to the public showers,
since the dirty aqua makes our skin itch,
but ya gotta give some bahts to wash.
we forget our towels, we dry in the Light.

when my art therapist asks how my exercise went
my heart flops like a fresh caught flounder. i say,
it was weird, as my blush grows lobster-red.
i don’t tell her that i miss you.

A.K. Shakour

when my art therapist tells me to picture paradise

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when my art therapist tells me to picture paradiseA.K. Shakour
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