Give her your bright, your enriched, your kempt,
and she will make sloven creatures of them.
She cares not for your ancestry nor history-
she seeks the bold, the flowering, the illustrious.
Shanghai swallows all those who come
by way of that first kiss that ruins
any innocence that still remained within them.

I believe that my first kiss with Shanghai
matters most since I
have kissed so few other cities so passionately.
Four years on I still remember that first time-
we met in the lurid darkness, her streets alive.
She wore a flowing gown of silky red, her legs reaching to the sky.
She whispered in my ear, “Welcome mister.”
She grabbed me, held me, embraced me,
hit me, beat me, shook me,
jostled me, kicked me, threw me
and left her indelible taste on my tongue.

All I could do was fall in love with her,
and all I’ve done since is looked for reasons to stay with her.
But I’ve been ravaged and savaged by her,
and I’ve been taken for a ride by her.

Yet, the addict has his candy, the tasty treat.
I’ve gotten to sucking on Shanghai’s sweet teat,
and I can’t ween myself away- I can’t.

The look she gives me, the potential to save me-
I opened wide and let her ruin me.
And I’m still by her side.

Dzemma ban