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there was a path–
it was a fecund path,
a fertile path–
and it waited, receptive,
to a seed to be planted
in its red and loamy soil.

this was accepted.

sometimes the seed ticced and spasmed–
it frequently tremored,
bouncing from Light particle
         to Light
as it burgeoned with Life,

striving for the Liberty
                       to Thrive.

that seed sprouted into limbs,
head, and trunk,
   shrunken head,
constellations of cells

composed of granular memories
of the limbs, heads, and trunks,
       trunks of lead,
that walked the path before me.

but here is this cluster,
this cluster of cells
wrapped in Chinoiserie finery,
            embroidery finely
stitched to its banners of silk,

the pots of rice and boiling tea,
and columns of mountains
that jut from the sea
     and pierce the clouds
shrouding the Liao,

as a soundtrack of cranes
flies in distant echoes.

i accept it–
i celebrate the Chinoise in me
       that voyages free
through a forest of lanterns

and the incense of a smoky tea-stained sky.