A stampede happened on the bridge to Diamond Island. School canceled

at the university—a funerary ceremony instead. Did we understand

         the program director when she told us her neighbor’s son had died?

Most likely not. We exchange students still didn’t understand.

         We went to the Heart of Darkness, the club empty but open.

We danced with Khmer boys. Strobe lights pulled us

         on the floor. This way. That. Our feet groped the shiny, black tiles

reflecting the bar where old expats sat with Khmer women making money.

         Yeah, yeah. It wasn’t expensive to get here or get back.

We took a tuk tuk and we danced. We drank. Meanwhile your mother called you.

         Your father called you. Your auntie called you from Prek Eng. Your uncle

down the street from the hotel. Your uncle in Kandal. Your cousin’s uncle in Siem Reap.

         Your cousin, the schoolteacher. Tell them you’re doing fine, just fine.

You’re the most American you’ll ever be.