Tiananmen

May 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

The quail egg inside my discount dumpling
is rubbery and tough,
and tastes like a mass burial.
But I don’t want to know why.

There is a familiar old man,
sitting by himself across the room
from what appears to be
his bodyguard.

He looks rich and tired,
like childbirth had taken
his favorite wife.
He, too, doesn’t seem to understand

the waiter’s distant Chinese.
All I know is he used to write poetry.
He debones his fish and stares
down the aisle of time.

Isn’t this the tragedy of man?
That we live in a landlocked city
and write thousands of poems
about the ocean.

Loneliness

May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s not like you imagine yourself
in the arms of every stranger you pass
on the street–
just the ones that smile at you.

Dirt

May 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

I want you to talk to me about death.
Let me run my fingers
through the cobwebs on your clavicles,
as you recite the drawn-out histories of all
the tiny little tragedies
you have had to endure, alone, in secret,
and all the larger ones,
catastrophic enough to merit
the division of sorrows.

But tell me more about the quiet ones,
the ones nobody ever asks about,
like pieces of shattered glass tangled
in the soft fabric of your hair,
always mistaken for diamonds.
I want to know about the things
that make appearances in your dreams,
I want to know what you think this all means.

Undress your logic
in the middle of this night sea,
lay it on a dry rock shaped
like a clenched fist,
and lose yourself in the black water,
your knees buckling in an embrace
of creatures of the deep.

I know you’re scared. I know that you worry
about life after death. But so did you
over that room left unlocked, the one
you later found filled from floor to ceiling
with fresh flowers.

This means there is kindness in strangers.
This means that sometimes the rain falls
at exactly the right moment.

I may not have the answers
but words make me bold
and I daresay heaven will want us,
if only for our laughter,
yours like a trumpet and mine
like a tambourine,
like nets sewn from first kisses,
cast over a stony world.

So tell me about the dirt
beneath your nails.
Because even if I don’t see it,
I know it’s there.

Where Am I?

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