[see “Three Improvisations” from the Spring Morning Porch series]
Each bead a prayer, ten a decade, all
a mystery with a name.
Translation: Oh drizzle of bossa nova
sliding down the windows inside this
café: the coffee roaster exudes its
dark aroma. Skins split. The metal
drum, soft as a sheet of thunder.
Angry crowds hurl rocks into shop
windows. Streets are burning
not so far away.
With me or against me?
Translation: A woman at the price
club checkout line, cart filled
to overflowing: toilet paper, muffins,
eggs, frozen chicken breasts, ground
chuck, short ribs; A1 steak sauce.
Her booklet of food stamps. Ripples
of annoyance as the cashier goes
to get the manager.
Unlucky the mouth that has never
learned when to open, when to close.
Translation: It is the seventh month
of the Lunar Year, the month of the Hungry
Ghosts. In Ejia town, in Yunnan province,
the men may touch the women’s breasts.
How true is it that this is what the women
prefer, that they would rather not rouse
to the touch of light upon the river?
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.