Hemisphere Strangers: An American In China
muddy raccoon paw prints are on my luggage
stashed in my enclosed corner
of the apartment building’s basement.
I hope they enjoyed their trip
and I admire their sneakiness with my bags
having brought them back before I noticed they were gone.
Eating In Yiwu China
I look for a restaurant with english
and if I can’t find one I look for at least menu pictures on the wall
until I find one with price numbers printed in the corners
and then walk in and point on the wall
give the money and see what comes out.
on the top of leifeng pagoda up seven flights of stairs
an old chinese man looking half mummified already
huffs his way to the top using his cane each step
and arrives finally at the top
and through the doorway to the view of west lake
he smiles to and at himself
and taps his cane on the ground a couple satisfied times
and sees me a young american sharing the view
and he smiles at me and says something and beams
and I smile back and point and smile again
and he wanders off to the other side and another view
and I wonder which is more beautiful
the horizon of topographical serenity
or that both of us hemisphere strangers
might today share it.
Longjing Tea Fields
the tea fields wrapped around the wooded hillsides
in every direction from the village the taxi dropped us off in
my hostel friends from holland and portugal
and we started walking further down the road