Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

pantoum of City Temple, Shanghai — Jeffrey Beck

dandling the tassels of the lantern,
he used to blow death through his cheeks
at the dragons, feeling the burn,
shifting to shift coal to a boiler;

he used to blow death through his cheeks,
the incense swirling the paifangs,
shifting to shift coal to a boiler:
your eyes ache at the rising fumes,

the incense swirling the paifangs
in the temple he imagined;
your eyes ache at the rising fumes:
you offer your torch of reverence

in the temple he imagined
dandling the tassels of the lantern;
you offer your torch of reverence,
bowing to ashes of your father.

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