Lychee Tree and the Other Woman
Sorry to the second concubine craving the fruit
On a pregnant Guangzhou lychee tree.
First wife crying, her runny eyes, her creased
unlucky palm lines,
Picking lychees for the younger woman.
Brown old leaf not chlorophyll green in her youth,
Hanging like suicide on his jagged branch, nervous
A woman’s old age dipping to the ground, useless to
the Emperor tree.
How invasive flirty honeybees are, poking their
busybody mouths into
The Emperor’s rotten lychees, old, yet still
Jealous mottled moth flutters, trembles her parting
To be one of the leaves on the Emperor’s lychee tree
And not to be a woman.
What’s the difference?
Suffering for his attention, she is the leaf
shrinking to the ground,
Drying up his ancient memory
As a tantalising new leaf materialises.
Sorry to the second concubine, for a third concubine
will take your place.
A green chrysalis opening up, upstaging the leaves.
All leaves anticipate the other lovely woman,
Wait for this banded peacock butterfly
To emerge with giant green wingspans, seducing your
Flaunting her six needle legs in his tree, summoning
To shake lychees into a basket for her.
Four wings doubling to eight monarch wings.
Interlacing. Quaking his twigs.
Seducing his brown bark as his sap drips
Leisurely to the yellow grass.
Leaves cannot speak, but still the first leaf
Says nothing about the other woman, and the others
that will follow her.
A Man Kissing a Woman Kissing Honey
Mama, how does it feel to love a man while living
inside a moon?
I cried against a lemon tree whose leaves whistled
like father did
nibbling a yellow egg yolk inside a mooncake,
lost in thought about the heart of a lonesome
Papa, a woodcutter destined never to chop down his
a rabbit’s medicine unable to heal the fever of my
Mama, did you know I have never loved a man before?
I feel him every mid-autumn when he cries over a
whose legs moved like mother did when father kissed
her upside down.
Breaking this myth with the woodcutter’s axe in his
I watch through a moon’s crater how he fingers the
rosebuds of her wings.
She becomes a butterfly suffering through the moon’s
A moon-goddess does not know how it feels to love a
I can taste him on my tongue as I bite into his
golden lemon hanging
on an eternal tree impossible for an enchanted axe
to chop down.
His voice echoes pass mythic meteoroids and
colliding comets in space
hollering that kissing me is a man kissing a woman
From a butterfly’s deathless lips.
Inhaling the perfume of his caged butterfly
to the surface of the harvest moon, a lantern tucked
between her legs,
he pledges to
Cassiopeia the rescue of a lonely woman, a rabbit, and a woodcutter
tragically inside a full moon.
Mama, did you
know I want to fall in love with a man?
ladder after ladder climbing the night, but can’t save me.
I’m a broken
butterfly not liberated to love.
vanishing behind the gloom of the sun, the moon does not exist.
I belong inside a
myth. He belongs inside a reality.
Mama, I know how it feels to love a man while
living inside a moon.