–Two Views

Why Are the Girls So Beautiful?

Li Bai. Li Yu. The classic Chinese poets
always found the lasting image:
the moon a silver hook,
the moon a boat wandering the sky.
They wrote of beauty,
and how could they not
with this countryside
of terraced mountains ridging colors
softly down and down?

How it shows--that the Sichuan girls
are milk-fed on such poetry.
They move with the particle weight
of moonbeams.
Golden light brushes their skin.
Their features are precise,
the pen strokes of a master.
They’re as lovely as their famous food.

But if there is the occasional
odd-girl-out, do not blame her
for neglecting poetry or her wok.
Blame chance, or perhaps the zhacai,
the local sour pickle.


Graduation from a Red Taxi

He will be five feet six.
His teeth will not be good.
His hair will be black
and shiny as metal.
He will be strong, but in a
toughened, scrawny-chicken
kind of way. And he will be
CHAMPION OF THE WORLD.
A cool guy with a cigarette,
he’ll smoke his way
around the track at Indy,
dodging cars
as though they were buses
or blue construction trucks
with piercing horns,
or gaps in the pavement,
or babies, flaps up
for a pee at curbside,
He’ll flip radio dials, and
talk to his passengers,
and drive at a speed
that nobody ever dared before.
And for him,
it’ll just be easy.

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