the shape of pagodas and temples
throughout the whole of ancient Bagan.
surpassing my own height, on display
before every third or eighth roadside establishment.
Or in piles, waiting to be used,
already used and crushed.
This country is frenzy of construction, visible at street level,
evidenced by cranes dotting the skyline.
Bricks the same color as the soil,
dusty in places, rocky in others,
source of clay, ground in which
this all-around lushness grows.
all crease, drape, and fold.
This hue seems more crimson,
but what does it matter?
Fact is, there is an abundance of colors,
from rusty brown to deep goldenrod,
not to mention pink, morning mendicants all.
There is the deep wooden red, perhaps mahogany,
of the umbrella Buddhas, four of them,
hidden in a cylindrical pagoda,
just off the beaten path at Shwedagon:
I was mezmorized.
Perhaps most enthralling is the betel nut red,
found juicy in the recent spit
of the pedestrian walking just ahead of you,
as well as its dried cousin on every ground surface possible,
forget not also in the crevices
between the teeth of the smiling
cab driver or tea house operator
or just about anyone from here.