Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fairy Tale

by E. Wong
for Lea, as promised

Unlocked are my doors
as are my windows, nothing
is ever unwelcoming
in this glasshouse—


comes into my home
like an old friend who shares
stories I’ve heard before.
The same light escapes
my translucent walls without

saying goodbye—Oh how
I would like it to shake
hands with me, whisper
to my ear, or kiss my cheek,
but no—light, for all its wild
brilliance, always succumbs
to the announcement
of dusk. And now I wait
for you, my dearest


Are you lost in the woods?
Shall I send you the fireflies
from my red lantern
to show you the dirtroad
which leads to my doorstep?

I want to say ‘I love you
tonight,’ but I do not.
I might have loved you
yesterday, or perhaps,
I would tomorrow.
Sometimes, I love you,
Sometimes, it seems you
love me, too.

O beloved prince,
the tower you erected
in my dreams await
your limbs, won’t you climb
to feel me now, and fill
this emptiness?

Let me hug this tree
while you’re gone
This old folk keeps
me safe and warm,
I step softly on its roots
and then we dance
to nocturnal melody
of its rustling
leaves, its swaying

Who dares divulge
the moon’s dark secret
that her mad brightness
is but affections
lent by the god
of incandescence?

O what could be more
enlightening than to witness
sunrise after a very long night
But light still has not arrived—
my own shadows are lost
in this pitch black

I want to sleep with you
under the stars tonight
But there’s somebody else
in your arms, a woman
who is not me—You caress
breasts that are not mine,
Always, always,
we make different loves
under the same sky.

I shall keep
waiting for you then
in the rain, under the sun,
or in vain. Would someone,
anyone, please wake me
when it’s time to raise
my lantern?

*Artwork: A sketch of Ornusa Cadness by Carl Zeno Manalo.
**Poem is originally titled "Mistress Monologue"
***Poem has reference to the film "Raise the Red Lantern" (1991), directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li.

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