[the poetry billboard] - 'Ghazal of Winter' by Teng Qian Xi
Ghazal of Winter

Teng Qian Xi

( for C )

Outside the homeless ask our help in all their languages;
The words disperse like witches' ashes.

Your nights are filled with arsonists and lonely politicians
Walking through constituencies of posters like curling skin.

What will survive of this is words and stardust.
At customs they found nothing hidden in the bronze god.

One night we read that “ignorant ships kiss and pass” * ;
The next: the collision and four girls under stateless waters.

Each morning brings two sets of dreams, the summoned and the lost.
Every other space I learn to halve with you

As we watch the days slide past like streetcars,
Along steel networks planned by neither of us.

    4 February 2003
    * from “The Catalogues of Memory” by Gwendolyn MacEwen