Poetry / November 2011 (Issue 15)

Two Very Old Men in Zhongshan Suits Have a Lunar New Year Champagne Brunch at the Shanghai Westin

by Dena Rash Guzman

The highbrow, please die first. - Zhang Yeuran
Champagne sparkled in their eyes, after coffee.

Next, more coffee, then unbridled delight over the entertainment: acrobats and dancers and arias. (if energy ceases, ghosts will come) I watched through their clouds of smoke and my own mimosa gaze as they laughed, then smoked again. Chung Hua. The lobby shone around us as a fishbowl, inverted liquid color and bright tailed women circling like fish, pouring eternal champagne. (if replenishment ceases, ghosts will come) Those men came in weathered faces and starched, faded Zhongshan suits, in old age like steel and death, in skin like a road map of Puxi, to an opulent brunch. Feasted and heavy with the punctuation of last night's fireworks on my dreams, I heard them speak. (if wakefulness ceases, ghosts will come, will come)

"Commander? Did you ever see this coming? Hong Bao Na Lai."
Photography by Dena Rash Guzman
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