1985 - 1989
Youíre showing off
In the garden as if
Someone is watching you lift
Yellow Orchids to your nose, head
Tilted up like a fawn.
Youíre alive and tall
As the Sunflowers. Not
Bamboo thin and as pale
As the moon. Itís not the day
That stumbled sickness into your bed
Like clowns scrambling
Under your blanket and then
Tumbling your mother, ripe
With grief into Da Temple to
Kneel and clap to Buddha
So many times she broke
Both hands. After seventeen years
I still watch the world
From the highest peak of disbelief.
I am drunk on sweet wine.
But donít worry, Fei Fei, I wonít jump.
Iím too far above the canyon of death
And I would jump only if I could see
Your face at the bottom. Fei Fei, I still look
For signs of your ghost even in
Early morning TV fuzz. Fei Fei,
Your mother and I fight.
We fight all the time.
Unlike when you were here, so tiny . . .
When finally you fell so far off the bed
Not even a slap across your
Motherís face could reach you.
For Fei Fei, Tan Juin, and Charping