Taipei- Poetry by John Hicks


In Taipei I saw a man in starched white shirt 
and khaki shorts squatting on a concrete curb, 
tilting a half-full enamel basin side to side, 
rinsing a length of pig intestine—something that 
would once have served to divine the unknown. 

Holding it in one hand, he pushed a hooked stick 
through the viscus to snag and draw the other end 
back through itself, as if turning it inside out 
could change the future. 

Pitching the water into the street, the last drops
blessing the sidewalk, he turned to climb
the ill-lit stairs to his flat to make sausage
or perhaps soup. 

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