Wherever he may be, Devendra
Would have Chinese children, and me,
Even if I were in China, I would not be.
Miners would not wake me in the mornings
And St Kilda would not smell of sea.
If he were in JapAn, he’d stil have Chinese children.
Not me. I’d be the gate called Rashomon.
I’d be the geisha’s shoe or the clack-clack of her wooden sole on cobblestone.
I’d be the golden seam patching the broken raku bowl
And the two hands of the Buddhist priest holding me.
I’d be the taste of bitter tea and the smell of wood smoke.
I’d be the shush of the screen door sliding shut.
I can but dream
Of Sunday in Peking and statues who also die.
Here I am the lorikeet who cannot fly,
The burr in the grass——watch your feet—— here I am
The smell of macadam melting in the heat
And the memory of naked thighs sticking to vinyl seats.
with thanks to Kim Williams,