Poetry / July 2011 (Issue 14)

Love: Made in China

by Sumana Roy

He was a part-time prophet,
a full-time love clerk.
A beard my mother called
'Chinese lace'. 
Eyeball to eyeball,
a piano gaze,
its black keys his power.
His eyelids were fans
that cooled magma beds,
his vision a lamp
that drew in pigtailed heads.
Love was air:
"Made in China".
Lunch was martyrdom
we escaped at his cheap store.
Pockets were foliage
we plucked coins from.
25, 50 and 1.
The jingling of lust,
its impatient iron smell.
Our greedy hisses and finger
damp calligraphy
on a prayer bell.
Sunlight on his beak
and wise teeth –
garlic-clove trail.
Love was a footstep:
"Made in China".
Lip soft his magic cloak,
bubble gum scented his whisper.
His hand in my pocket:
it was rape of a tree.
Then flood on the tongue –
a faithful Lhasa lake.
His China store was a wedding
night bedroom –
touch was free.
A paedophile's patience.
Nothing was real,
no sweat nor love stain.
No one broke bread.
Only one game –
farmer in the den. 
Love was terror:
"Made in China".
Laughing Buddha grew
wings and belly,
I learnt a cactus’s tune,
I forsook ribbons,
I wrote on great walls,
I grew immune.
Love was ice –
I changed pockets
for sense pillars.
Adulthood was a new vice.
Bones became bread
and saliva soup.
But I remained loyal.
Love was betrayal:
"Made in China".
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.