Aroma of Argyle Street

The train stops at Argyle
Where red Chinese characters and green Saigon signs
Name the neighborhood shops.
I breathe in hungrily
Ginger and sesame.

Hanging in windows,
Roast chickens and ducks glisten
Golden with crackled skin.
Honest mortal meat,
No ghosts from the freezer case
Shrouded in breadcrumbs.

I wander the market
Past the sweat-ripe durian
To sweet lychees in red peels
Bok choy and pointed holy basil.

I meet a friend for Siam noodles,
Purple salted crabs in green papaya nests.
She reads the Thai menu:
Pad King, Tom Yum, Yen Ta Fo.
To me, pink soup tastes tropical.
To her, it tastes like home.