Of Red Bean, Ashes, and Jasmine Rice

i.

dear waipo. i am searching

your hands

buried, incense, jasmine rice

mouse steals the oil.

still small, my fingers cannot              hold

the universe like yours. jasmine rice

tumbles

onto

hollow                concrete kitchen floor.

ii.

badenweiler-marsch.

waipo, the stairwell in your house is

unwinding.

gray. there are paper diamonds      tatters

of ‘upside-down fortune’ on gray walls and

neverending

floors.

waipo, why is it               that the lower

i walk, the whispers of our dead childhood

ricochet?

iii.

after concrete,

i remember carnation. love is pink and yellow is massacre.     

peaches grow on northern soil and birds fly south.


you always        flew south.

plaster crumbling, i come home in the evening and

walk stairs unweathered by your past           this time.

instead of footloose guilt there is

mapo tofu sitting at your table.

it is december.

waipo. your warmth is

waning

now.

iv.

waipo, bu yao zhao liang.

i am fifteen                  still

incense stands in red beans. and morning leaves

cast the afternoon

into our courtyard.


v.

—hong dou sheng nan guo.


red bean is remembrance.

this autumn, it is

searching.


Cover Photo Source: East West Bookshop