Bangkok, Thailand

The white egrets in the tree
tuck up their legs, as still as
the noon heat.

In last night’s dream
my high school flame
had been left by his wife.

In real life they are still married,
expecting another child,
posting Bible verses online.

The sky darkens.
I hear someone laughing
a bitter laugh, not too far off.

I am certain I have sat
on this bench before. There were
no birds—only monitor lizards.

The lizards swam with their heads
above water, flicking out their
blue tongues to smell.

Prayer call of the mosque; I imagine
I understand the words—
Don’t forget! It’s time, it’s time…

When I look up, the tree is now
empty. I listen to the thunder
and this echoing foreign song.


Photo by Vitalijs Barilo on Unsplash

Ana Pugatch

Ana Pugatch is an MFA candidate at George Mason University in Virginia, where she was recently awarded the Poetry Heritage Fellowship. She taught English in China and Thailand for several years before returning to the U.S. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Skidmore, and a Master’s degree in education from Harvard. Her work has recently been featured in publications such as Poached Hare, Roadrunner Review, and Foothill Poetry Journal, among others.