Sitting with fast food noodles
the mirror opposite
leads to the delusion
I am my own companion.

I see a not fat face
slightly round in shape
hair hanging limp
face tired
gold earring in one ear, unhidden.
Does the mirror reflect my thoughts?

China,
you have destroyed my illusions
no dream remains,
offers of kindness veiled in deceit
even honesty
bids to lie
if the lie is undetected.

It is not dangerous
to travel alone,
rather painful, frustrating
I will get where I’m going
but at what price?

China,
couldn’t you be a bit kinder
to your admirers?
Must you mock their admiration
and grind your heel in their good will?
Is otherness so oppressive
that you must oppress at all cost
those who would let you be you
and yet share news of a better way,
a way offering you dignity
and life?

China,
you have left me with a sour taste,
beauty smeared,
pictures show your beauty
but not
your soul.

 

Evening, 6 November 1995