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依然 (Still.)

Lily Shen

依然 (Still.)
a poem by Lily Shen

依然 (still.)

a love letter from your heritage

bai he.

do you still believe in mingyun?

dynasties rise, dynasties fall

legends die and their tales are told.

thin red thread

for what you know, what you own.

for a dead knot

around your wrist, to

ward off evil

in your twelfth year.

you retrace my steps.

red and gold, set anew,

cannon rust and changcheng dust

i am your legacy.

do not mourn me

i am not the dead star of the east,

i am your emperor of sunrise

my essence is in

the trail you blaze

and the liuxing rain

that rips the night open as you


do not cry for me

i am not your tears,

i am your blood

the red kite in

the rye ocean that was once

your home.

do not wait for me

i will not return,

i have never left your side.

look for me in the shine

of your dragon scale eyes

and the dew

that caress your cheeks.

do not miss me

i am not a dead leaf echo,

i am brighter

than the five thousand eight hundred and forty

aluminum dawns

you were there to see

and more.

do not forget me

i am not your past,

i am your present, i am your future

and i will stay forever.

our souls have never belonged anywhere

but with each other.

love me

you loved me once

and i love you still.


ming yun - the chinese belief in destiny.

changcheng - the great wall of china.

red thread - refers to the tradition that one must wear a red ornament during the year of their chinese zodiac, which rotates every twelve years.

liuxing - comet rain.

- Lily Shen

Cover Photo Source:

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