On paunchy green hills
in some province of China, you are the one I speak to.
Someone buys a perfume, recalling
that the bones of his beloved are small.
When he writes the note, when he wraps
the little bottle, he takes that into account. So do I.
The subtlest trace of mind against your shoulders
is your true skin. And I press myself to you.
I hear the steady rhythm of your typing, the key
of a borrowed pulse. But what difference does it make, that it is given?
For a while it is mine to use, then your turn, but the pulse originates
in the Child of Heaven who has hearts to spare.
Some day you'll sink yourself into a frozen
lake where paper ships were torched with the
names of the missing. Some dead, some vanished.
The flames consume all but
the wisp of smoke on which a single word rises
and water licks at the rest. So we are freed from a weight.
Perennially your hills are filled with birds.
Green hills, the deep mosses around your temples.
They, the birds, are your faithful ones.
As I am, naturally.
Faithful to a world unknown,
a world for us alone, paper-thin, and too fragile to speak of.