Kunming Medley


“Overwhelming Desire” Cao Xihui

I scratch the mosquito bites on my skin

And the mountaintops wear away

And reveal the beginning and end of the bronze-age

And rusty nails puncture deeper the surface

And leeches and butterflies emerge

Not gasping or reluctant

But following, drilling the veins of time

And some will suffer, some will prosper

All will die and change

Rapid like flesh

The copper is valued until the gold comes

And then?  We come tap, tap, tapping

For more dripping spirit, metallic blood

And the nature of these bugs taunts me

While the nature of my soul haunts me

Until I can free a geothermal laugh.


Just read to the sun

Taiyang, too young

You find out to be more in

Than up, but what

If you could go everywhere

At once, like me, and you,

And Otis Redding, not forgetting

How strong our love is

See the sun setting.

And poets aren’t lamenting

It was a perfect palate, the day

What to dismiss as a petty kiss

Upon the cheek of ruddy time?

Perched on the parquetry

A tapestry of a Mourning Dove

Singing a tune too low to hear

But this love lets us feel!

And extend our ten-thousand limbs

Further, into a space that lies

Empty no more.


People waiting

Wrinkles work their way in

Like wedges of sky that cut into life veins

Or pairs of hands at a Chinese train station

The world grows younger yet

And I alone remain

Like a lucid laughter in the light rain.


© 2011, Amaya Engleking


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