Walking down Rua da Caldeira,
on my way to the Street of Happiness.
Rua da Felicidade.
These narrow two blocks
were the hub of the infamous
Macau red-light district
back in the twenties and thirties, and after.
It’s hard to believe
that all that fabled wickedness
radiated out from here,
this short street where one now finds
a few Chinese restaurants,
a few red-doored dwellings
inhabited by elderly Chinese
(when they were young
what did they see, what did they do?)
and a whole raft of bakeries and sweet shops.
Cookies and sweets having replaced
who knows what lost sweetnesses?
Friends, it’s a surprise
to all of us
that this book could possibly end
on the Street of Happiness.