THE ABSINTHE DRINKER DREAMS SHE IS LI PO
BY RYAN G. VAN CLEAVE
The moon's imperial gate
has the face of the clouds of Chin;
it clangs open this night,
its cry echoing through the sky.
My hair grows knotted, white
among the Yangtze river-weeds.
A thousand villages, ten
thousand villages - the litany
of my life is one of travel dust,
watered tavern wine, bright
mountain noons that remind
me of home. Every breath
a sunset, every step a companion.
Perhaps the orioles will sing again.
Perhaps the stars will dream me home.