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Poem (At night Chinamen jump)

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At night Chinamen jump   
on Asia with a thump

while in our willful way   
we, in secret, play

affectionate games and bruise   
our knees like China’s shoes.

The birds push apples through   
grass the moon turns blue,

these apples roll beneath   
our buttocks like a heath

full of Chinese thrushes   
flushed from China’s bushes.

As we love at night   
birds sing out of sight,

Chinese rhythms beat   
through us in our heat,

the apples and the birds   
move us like soft words,

we couple in the grace   
of that mysterious race.

Frank O’Hara, "Poem (At night Chinamen jump)" from Meditations in an Emergency. Copyright © 1957 by Frank O’Hara. Reprinted with the permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc., www.groveatlantic.com.
Source: The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara (1995)
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Poem (At night Chinamen jump)

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