Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chow Ho Fun

I have never ever
Ordered or eaten
Chow Ho Fun
In a Chinese restaurant
In all my 64 years
I have eaten and ordered
Just about everything else
On the standard Chinese menu
But so far
I have never ever
Ordered or eaten
Chow Ho Fun
I don’t even know
What it looks like
Or smells like
Or tastes like
I cannot tell you
If I like it or not
Though speaking from experience
There is very little
On the standard
Chinese restaurant menu
That I do not like
Of course I have my favorites
Like everyone else
I must have had enough
Won Ton soup by now
To fill the South China Sea
I love my shrimp rolls
And egg rolls
I like my Shrimp Lo Mein
And I like my barbeque spare ribs
Especially with the hot home made
Yellow mustard
I like the fortune cookies
Slightly lemon flavored
With cheerful prognostications
Of my future health and success
Providing of course
That I keep eating Chinese food
Tonight just for fun
I may very well order
The Chow Ho Fun
Just to satisfy my curiosity
To try something new
For a change
To boldly go
Where I have not yet gone before
Up to this moment in time
I love the way
The Chinese waitress
Calls out my orders
In her native Chinese
Her name is Emily
And I can only guess
At her age
Maybe between twenty
And twenty five
She is on the short side
With darling chubby cheeks
That I would just love
To kiss and squeeze
I flirt with her
At every opportunity
I want to buy her a present
Perhaps some piece
Of oriental jade jewelry
Perhaps for next Christmas
I think she will like that
I think she will be pleased
Anyway she has earned it
She works like a slave
Like a Chinese coolie
Working non stop
Seven days a week
Perhaps she is a slave
Like the sex slaves
That we read about
From time to time
In the newspapers
Perhaps she is working off
Her passage fare
At loan shark rates
That will take her
The better part of her
Natural life to pay
She speaks at least
Three languages
That I know of
Chinese, English and Spanish
As she shouts out
Her orders to the Chinese cook
Who never speaks in English
But he can sure
Whip up a good Chinese meal
In a hurry
I love to watch him
Manhandle the large wok pans
While he mixes the pre-mixed
Ingredients and tosses them
In the air
While the oils
Sizzle and pop
And the flames lick
Higher and hotter
As if whipped
Into a frenzy
By the cook’s
Masterful machinations
In the winter
The air fills with clouds
Of hot steam
Until the windows of the restaurant
Sweat like giant elephant leaves
In some tropical rain forest
Emily I would free you
If I could
Emily I would make you my wife
If I could
If she could bear the thought
Of marrying me
Not that I will ever
Actually ask her out
Ask her out?
That’s a joke
When I do
Try to speak to her
I get so tongue tied
I can barely
Get myself
To order some
Chow Ho Fun

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

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