Leaving Phnom Penh
Barrelling toward the airport
in an old tuk-tuk, early morning,
city inhabitants quietened after New Year.
I sense relief, breathe in possibility.
Roads are empty compared to the chaos
upon my arrival, as though time dancing
and chatting with family have quelled Phnom Penh,
cut back the population’s existence to basics.
Empty space allows lungs to contract,
expelling pain of yesterday. You are this city,
me the open air between buildings,
repelling your presence, I move on.