Soak in a hot bath;
arrange my futuristic hair,
then, the futon & the cushioned tatami.
Cut orchids, cut fruit.
Set the table for plenty,
(but there is only one of me).
And here you come—
a cricket’s dance in the woods—
in a fog-colored zoot suit.
Your eyes are red & bleary.
I am practicing good purity.
I do not get angry.
But here comes my father with the tiger’s claw.
He paces and frets; I get no rest.
The caged animal must be released.
Here comes my mother with the serpent’s touch.
I know the dim mak: the touch of death,
I know the softness of the temples,
the groin, the heart.
Here come my sisters with the lizard’s tongue
to expel the secret in a moment’s hiss.
But they are slow on their haunches.
I shall strike first.
The weir-basket was a snare;
the fish within were dying.
You promised me fresh fish.
You promised unconditional love and providence.
Here comes my brother with the ox’s heart
to explain the world in a plum’s pit.
He is not your kind.
You don’t understand his plight;
nor does he your fomenting silence.
Tiger’s claw, serpent’s touch, lizard’s tongue, ox’s heart.
The caged animal is released.
I believe in the touch of life.
I shall keep my secret always.
Although you have lost your way,
you have never forsaken me.
you have been whole.
you have been good.