Ichiban-Kan, Yangon

Near Aung San Stadium

at the Ichiban-Kan restaurant,

Japanese businessmen

bow, exchange business cards,

smoke filter cigarettes

and giggle over their gyoza.


The proprietor,

elegant in black dress and white pearls,

misses nothing;

watches each slurp of ramen,

accounts for every sip of sake,

notices any slip in standards.

For her customers

this place is like a tiny talisman,

comfortably tucked into a pocket of Yangon.

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