He sits on the stairways unmoved
By the sound of rain conjuring a
Memory of burgundy leaves falling
Beside him. How his midnights had
Burned with the smell of her sex
And cooled with her wet kisses
Pressed on his lips like the
Soft flesh of lychees, her fingers
Rambling on the smooth of his back
Like mute insects on the mouth of
A hibiscus. It was to her beauty
That the edges of things felt
Inferior, and to her movement,
Living came to an abeyance.
But he was bereaved of her
By his own people, the subjects
Blaming her for his forgetfulness,
Turmoil besieging the lands. And
He could say or do nothing but watch%
And their jeering formed welts on his heart
As the rope tightened around her neck
At the slopes of Ma-Wei.

How to flee from love and its stern
Confrontations% its steep afflictions and
Lumber of meanings? He walks over
To a small puddle, a union of rain and earth,
And imagines his silent reflection with hers.
And nothing, nothing but the sound of water
Claws at his remembering.

Montage Vol. 9 • February 2006


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