In the Kingdom of Tonga

Children’s play is serious, dangerous.

It does not lie

in green squares platted with white lines.

Still waters make sailors sick at heart.

Fana / fire pitu / bamboo is a toy

every boy builds and fires off.

Tilt kerosene in the column, light it

with a match, boom!  Big boys have keepers,

thick, heavy bamboo sawed off for impact.

Cha-Cha was born with balls, but he can-

not mess around with fana pitu like

his brothers.  Cha-Cha is raised faka

leiti, as a girl, since there is no

sister.  Her mother spoils her with tapi-

oca simmered in coconut milk, tea-

spoonfuls tipped into her big soft lips.

The sailor misses his sweetheart.

The smell of fuel is intoxicating.

She combs her hair.