Poetry / June 2016 (Issue 32)

Mid-Autumn Blood Moon

by Anthony Tao

We cowered under cold and cassia wine,
certain conversations untouched across the dinner table,
hazarding to ascend with offers of cockscomb
or descend into that garden where women can ask
flowers to prophesy the number and sex of their children.
God or demon, will you anchor or steer?
In the morning on the day after the last sun
I could not say what horns sounded from toad kings’ throats
or faces lifted off the sand with scars burnished by change,
just that
the empurpling horizon teetered across a central pillar
as a great fight raged with archers’ stars and the broad sword of wind.
Would it tip toward the future, depositing us on rock, huddled
and together?
Or, with the creep of shadow over an unbent Immortal, would it fall
the other side, causing us to slide like mud
flush into gully
as rain?

 Anthony Tao's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Borderlands, Kartika Review, Cottonwood, Open Road Review, Blue Fifth, Poetry East West, Five 2 One, Eunoia Review, and an anthology of China writing entitled While We're Here. He currently lives in Beijing, where he recently coordinated the international China Bookworm Literary Festival, captains an Ultimate Frisbee team, and runs the news/society/culture blog Beijing Cream

Search Cha for Anthony Tao

Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.