Courtyard of Forgetfulness
The auspicious beasts on the flying eaves
Grovel on the ground: dark watchful holes.
Roof ridge, sitting on a drawn-away bench, is broken
With fragmentary fractures, upon which
A few grasses hold toward the sky one of their upper limbs.
People say that is a salute, a gesture of gratitude.
But the drooping dangling limbs, to be amputated and discarded
As refuse, are too disgusting to be acknowledged their existence.
Children of the past life scooted, bare-footed,
On the once smooth sand barnyard, the footprints
In the shape of superimposed hearts, afloat in the dammed past
As time elapses.
There, it is the smallest Eden in the ruins, mothering
On the broken ends of the prefabricated panels, cigarettes
Stuck onto the wires are spurting wreaths of thorny smoke.
If those masterless legs venture out of the embankments,
Rusty pricks into the flesh would not cause any tears of blood.
May 27-28, 2008
Note: The death toll in the Sichuan earthquake has reached 70000 now, with reported missing of about 18000. Among the buildings that crumbled into pieces, the school houses came first. On the ruins, people saw in the broken ends of the prefabricated panels some very thin iron wires, onto which even ordinary cigarettes can be stuck. People call these kind of buildings "projects of bean curd dregs."