YEARLY GIFTS OF EARLY DEATH
Draped in white, Beijing dust floats in
red clumps to fingertips, and itching, we
sing ourselves mad to February explosions,
for spring is coming.
The close family sunk, back from the hospital room,
a fevered child shoots a plastic pistol, I smoke circles,
scrape vomit, wipe black velvet to rings round the sky,
blow kisses for my enemy is here.
And, it's your birthday again, once on the second, but not
on the twenty third and you're bloated, escaped breath is a
womb and the child dream-sleeps through these firecracker nights
where gunshots and laugh-tracks are all we have.
But, two makes a family, Old Mother's bawling in
the kitchen over green beans or shaved beards and I'm gone,
outside with pig fur in the yard making sure they don't
accidentally eat one of those flakes of red rice paper, those
yearly gifts of early death.