Chinese New Yearby Lynda HullThe dragon is in the street dancing beneath windowspasted with colored squares, past the manwho leans into the phone booth’s red pagoda, pastcrates of doves and roosters veiled
until dawn. Fireworks complicate the streetswith sulphur as people exchange goldand silver foil, money to appease ghostswho linger, needy even in death. I am
almost invisible. Hands could pass through meeffortlessly. This is how it isto be so alien that my name falls from me, growsuntranslatable as the shop signs,
the odors of ginseng and black fungus that idlein the stairwell, the corridor wherethe doors are blue months ajar. Handsgesture in the smoke, the partial moon
of a face. For hours the soft numericclick of mah-jongg tiles driftsdown the hallway where languid Mai trailsher musk of sex and narcotics.
There is no grief in this, only the old yearconsuming itself, the door knob blazingin my hand beneath the lightbulb’s electric jewel.Between voices and fireworks
wind works bricks to dust—hush, hush—no language I want to learn. I can touchthe sill worn by hands I’ll never knowin this room with its low table
where I brew chrysanthemum tea. The signfor Jade Palace sheds green corollason the floor. It’s dangerous to stand herein the chastening glow, darkening
my eyes in the mirror with the gulf of the restof my life widening away from me, waitingfor the man I married to pass beneaththe sign of the building, to climb
the five flights and say his Chinese name for me.He’ll rise up out of the puzzling streetswhere men pass bottles of rice liquor, wherethe new year is liquor, the black bottle
the whole district is waiting for, likesome benevolent arrest—the momentwhen men and women turn to each other and dissolveeach bad bet, every sly mischance,
It's open link day in the Imaginary Garden. Please link up a poem of your choice, and take some time during the week to visit others who have shared their poems. We look forward to sharing with you!the dalliance of hands. They turn in lamplightthe way I turn now. Wai Min is in the doorway.He brings fish. He brings lotus root.He brings me ghost money.