Depending on who you are, it can be an involuntary moat
the Queen of Heaven cuts with her hair clasp
for fear that the poor oxherd and his sons might enter her queendom,
a river, due to agitated hand, with gorges, rapids and shoals,
a pair of paired swords that share one sheath.
An old wife’s tale about a paradise bisected into longing and pursuit
and two forgotten half-breeds from blue blood and red.
You look up and you will see
your heavenscape has a majestic long scar, foamy and revolute.
There are of course steady sparkles
for you to fixate, rivet or anchor,
enough for every eye, no matter how many eyes you imagine you have.
But you must try hard to defocus,
and then you may float and forget yourself and where you are.
Simply to extend your arm and level your finger over the billows,
you will make a sky bridge for the doomed family,
while the kids in the baskets on the father’s shoulder pole
scale the weight of love and blood.
You lie on a reed mat or on a narrow bench, waiting patiently
for the gossips of toads, but instead
you hear your mother nagging about the dewfall and illness.
Tonight, she has finished telling the story
which she had long been told a few times, and after a few more times
her good humor may run out: “Go back to your bed.”
You are seven and excited, your brother half asleep,
and she is tired like her exhausted mother, your dead dear grandma.
Nothing comes from the sky, except for stray fireflies.
Tonight you again level your index finger at your eyes
and push it back and forth like a telescopic slide of a trombone;
in the poisoned city air, all that glisters
has a yellowish balloon-like halo, and nothing can be seen in the sky
while screams of cars randomly intersect the field of hearing.
No matter how grand the scale is,
you will never figure out with your knuckles
the ratios between your loved ones and the Milky Way and you.
In terms of the power to point at
and measure the distance and depth of your vision,
the girth of the finger has to be aesthetically out of scale with its length.
When you look at the scar in the heaven and look hard,
you will see the undercurrent of blood and understand
the radius of the hemi-heaven is irrelational to that of your territory.
Note: The seventh day of the seventh month in lunar calendar (August 19, 2007) is Chinese Lover’s Day, as the folklore says that Vega the Weaving Maiden Fairy (the youngest of the seven daughters of the Queen of Heaven) and Altair the mortal oxherd would meet for their once-in-a-year date on the bridge of magpies over the Milky Way.
August 16-17, 2007