by Qi’ang Meng


Counting the takeoffs and landings                                       

inside an airport waiting-hall reminds me                               

of ebbs and flows, though                                                       

to nobody could I tell this.                                                       


Midnight, an old man riding a bike                                         

flitted by the crossroad like a shooting star.                            

Merry Christmas, he said.                                                      

Merry Christmas, I answered.                                                            


She kissed me for so long that the church bell                       

dared not croon. The driver behind her                                   

had loaded my baggage onto the shuttle bus                           

and waited by pretending to study a stop sign.                       


As soon as I type the last word, sunlight                                

buds out from the damp dark clouds                                       

and rests, like a meek insect,                                                  

on my glasses frame.                                                               


I opened my eyes again

on a cradling train.

A hawk soaring over was

a grain of brown rice.


The novelist sitting next to me

for the whole morning must

have written a story about a dumb

poet staring at the fallen leaves.


By leaving the rented apartment on

Fifth Avenue, I let the potato chips

on the desk evaporate in vain

and the deck of cards divine its own future.


It was drizzling. The moon yawned

behind a white Ferris wheel, with

the crickets quenched

in the unfathomable bush.