Why is there so much beauty in the broken?
One girl's purity is another tourist token.

Some men take the prettier as brides;
the plainer ones, never to be married,

are the hour-long stops on sex tours.
Tradition opens like a purple orchid,

keeps her tribal costume on and smiles,
even when it hurts down there.

In Hmong villages dogs are raised as pets,
then are sold to be slaughtered.

by Marc Nair
from Chai: Travel Poems (2010)


SELECTED POEMS: "Mas Selamat" >