Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Small offerings

Life distracted me. The twisting, forsaken leaves,
Correspondence limited and stilted,
Different states and hearts.

Once we were so close our hands held
Each other's hopes. But
Like a jellyfish desiccating,
I was too feeble to pronounce the truth.

There was no nobility in my turning away.
Just a fear of justice, that if I did not act the patsy
If . . . the silences were insufficient ransom,
Then what about me? I had no power.

No voice. No gale force upon the plains
For complaints were not readily heard.
How we hurt each other.

In/justice like a sieve,
Truly it was unfair to portray you as a guide or even Cassandra.
I accept these truths too late,
Too eager to watch our self-erected idols tumble.

Now I can ask. Now I don't ask, still -
And now my acceptance of life changes like
Ordinary extraordinary rites of passage
Never before pertinent, never self-righteous
Until now. Time glanced through your lashes
And swept it all away.

Remind myself. It began with a drawing of a hat.
So simple an offer of friendship. Small requests
Like offerings. In truth I resented your power.
I gave you reflected glories, I sought the turmoil in knowledge.
Were you my Eve? Was she the snake?

Captivated I stepped outside the bounds
When she accused, and we were weak. Certain things
I did not want to know, did not want to confirm or deny.
Would not stand anywhere except on the fence.
To this day some barbs remain in my heart. My heart for yours.

Like an observer of the end of empires I ran from the wreck.
It did not manifest then. Only later. Now I trace the dim paths
Back to the impetus impulse impediment.
All the pearls come undone. All the flowers trampled, songs unsung.

In the end I could not measure
Your many trails, the prodigious chains of your polygon heart.
Voraciously the summoning of multiple personalities,
Desires and destinies
Shattered upon the end of a trembling finger.
Me, I point. I have only myself to blame.

No, you whisper, and you take my hand,
Cocking it upon yourself.

Now, leave.

(For A.)

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