Postcards from Beijing

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When I think of you,
I think of the chains and heart-shaped
locks, the missing keys,
the red lace, tied up in
neat little bows,
these promises of youthful
love, proclaimed
in a long steel line
running the course
of the Great Wall,

When I think of you,
I think of the wind,
the smell of winter
jasmine, and white cherry
blossoms that line
the cemented paths,
these vast expanses,
these roads
that keep us back,

When I think of you,
I think of these bricks
and steps, these limestone
walls, these terracotta
and dragon-scale
roofs and red circle
windows with their
latticed lines and
curlicues

and the burning lamps
within
that filter through
the rice paper,
these silhouettes

When I think of you,
I remember the first moon
I saw in these ancient grounds–
a lunar haze
in a blanket of silky grey,
the eye of loneliness
a waning white orb
an archaic perspective,
in a city that forbids.

First Published on June 29, 2012

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