Chou en-Lai in Toledo

BY WILLIAM BLOME

AERIAL_VIEW_LOOKING_NORTHEAST_AT_THE_OHIO_TURNPIKE_OF_THE_1950'S_AND_THE_INTERSTATE_OF_THE_1960'S_AS_THE_HIGHWAYS..._-_NARA_-_558049

Given that the wonton wasn’t worth shit,
and all the poppies at all the tables were plastic and dust-laden,
and that no interesting person had ever or was ever
going to come into this Cantonese restaurant in downtown
Toledo, Ohio, it sure looked okay for Premier Chou
to opt for an early-out this day and walk next door to enter
his Gobi-quiet, Gobi-cold room adjoining the Ramada’s
parking lot, and thank heaven, the pillows rose
from their twin beds to meet his handsome head,
and in no time flat he was hearing loaded trucks
moving over asphalt roads to the far, far west,
and he couldn’t stop seeing tires endlessly rolling
across his sleep and his mother’s packaged feet.

 

 

William C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he is a master’s degree graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Poetry London, PRISM International, Roanoke Review, Salted Feathers and The California Quarterly.