Friday, October 24, 2008

Poem: Hungry Ghosts 3

LinkPosting this a day earlier than usual, because I'm heading to Philadelphia for the ALSC conference.

1. The Grand Historian Makes a Virtue of Necessity
2. The Scholar-Minister Gives Career Advice

3. The Emperor’s Male Favorite Waits Up for Him

Holding the mirror, I study my plucked eyebrows,
xxxxxxworry my fringecurl,
xxxxxxxxxxxxtouch my lips with rouge.

He gave me this mirror. On its back, twin dragons
xxxxxxbraid their jadescaled
xxxxxxxxxxxxbodies into sinew.

The Peach Terrace glints under the autumn moon,
xxxxxxpink as skin seen
xxxxxxxxxxxxthrough red silk gauze.

Are the lights in the Audience Hall still burning
xxxxxxor has he removed Heaven
xxxxxxxxxxxxto some other room?

I asked Eunuch Shu earlier for the Emperor’s mood.
xxxxxxThe army has pushed back
xxxxxxxxxxxxthe barbarians, he said,

and recouped the loss of ten frontier towns
xxxxxxthey took from us
xxxxxxxxxxxxa month ago.

A victory then. Another change. The wine has turned cold.
xxxxxxOn the old coverlet,
xxxxxxxxxxxxthe kingfisher molts.


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