Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Moral Ambiguity in Thailand and Sudan

Thai women don’t wear slacks on temple sites,
Not to piss off the pious, or inflame
The appetites of our chaste cenobites,
Or drown our morals-conscious town in shame.
But if a girl forgets, and dares to flaunt
A pair of jeans before our sacred Buddhas,
She’s but to rent a skirt from those who haunt
The doorways, making money as do-gooders.

There’s no such ambiguity in Khartoum,
Where pants in brasseries can be a pain,
The wrong attire can spell a woman’s doom —
The lash for Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein!
If Christ got 39 for freeing man,
What’s one more lash for freedom in Sudan?

read more of Somtow's sonnets at www.sonnetworld.com

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