25 A man without both arms
By the West Lake in the far East --
Where an ancient courtesan is still remembered for writing
By the sky drowned forcibly in the water;
Between drowsy blossoms drunk on their own aroma;
Between the innumerable brides
Who descend onto the banks like a flock of wild geese
Clumsy in their white plumage
And hungry for the tight shoots of bamboo --
By the West Lake --
Strides a man without both arms,
Strides a man with both arms shortened almost up to his shoulders --
A man swinging the stumps of his arms,
A cigarette between his teeth.
Who put a cigarette in his mouth?
Who lit it?
If he drops it, who will put it in again?
Who will light it up
When he strides by the West Lake,
Between blossoms and brides?
March 27 - April 14, 2008
Hangzhou - Stamford