Rua da Felicidade

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.