Affection: A Bilingualcultural Poem

In Chinese, 朋友,恋人,& 爱人 are all
12-stroked characters, just as their counter-
Parts friend, couple & spouse are 6-lettered
Words in the imperial vocabulary of English

Though they are all underlined with human

Love and loyalty, the former entails twice
As much input or effort of the heart
As the latter to maintain a disparately
Similar humane relationship as a speech

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How Deceptive The Moon

Night air carries superstition, poison’s veil,
cry of hunting owl, unbound mastiff.
Deceit manages the moon.
Dire blaze of comets fall
whips at cries of disembodied voices,
chaos of sordid death by border lies.
My reflection is running water,
an impulse through exile’s grasping past
profound as sin and consecration.
Floating in inertia, admiring
ennui through its idling passage,
I cup my hands to my mouth, rising
in terror, singing for redemption.

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Homework

In science class we learned
the hottest point of steam
is at the tip of the teapot spout—
where streams of swelling heat
rupture the cooler air.

After school, I do my homework
upstairs in my room.
My kid sister murmurs
somewhere,
playing family on her own.

When the clock clicks four
the stacks of the factory moan,
and the sky
gets smudged with smoke.

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To Settle the Night

Sky streaks lavender and orange to lowering blue.
Night chill rises, flicking at pants legs, leaf piles,
dampens sidewalk to footstep skate.
Beyond the greasy click of a security gate,
last birds circle to settle on a sleeping roost,
scavengers slink the hedge lines,
eroded wastes of tree root, fence rot.
Phone-nervous, the late-working husband,
lover late with wine and Chinese
hustles towards an unsettled greeting.

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A Drink to End the World

The map of the world has changed
since I photographed you;
faded in its frame,
ink lighter with the seasons.
No Siam, no Burma,
one Vietnam.

Across the room
your cheekbones are sharper,
hair shorter, bright blonde as
your lips and nails are red.
Aroma from a whiskey tumbler reveals
polite wine lost to single malt.
Surgical, your laugh slices the room,
precise as heels across an Aztec tile floor.
You step out where I stand
to smoke, to stare at the waxing moon.

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Left of Gandhi

Sittin’ to the left of Gandhi
Peaceful intentions and all

Honolulu Zoo behind me
Girls playing volleyball
Beautiful ocean

Yet, the world burns in more ways than one

My wife in the water, with beautiful fish

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small hands

We were frozen stumbling and bumbling your hand on my thigh my leg on yours holding tight as we hurled down that hillside on a rustic red slide not knowing we would have this moment to savor for so many walks to come before full time work and grad school one, two, then three bundles of infinite intensity.

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House Dust

House Dust is skin cells shrouding the broom that once gathered them, draping it now in gray; his blind calico’s brown eyelashes; pearl fibers sloughed off thread she strung through buttons two nights before they buried him in his white church shirt; pollen the daisies he gave her exhale from their kitchen jars. They form […]

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Chairs Rest

Chairs Rest Like old married couple almost holding hands two lawn chairs rest at lake’s edge. Arms spread in anticipation of sunset each evening before frogs launch into serenade, and waves lap against shore; sound of kissing. Diane Webster‘s goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life, nature or an overheard phrase […]

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Husband: All Earth

Husband: All Earth I. Led Zeppelin on Spotify, movie posters on walls, Coors Light and Old Spice, here she dove softly into cool dust. At home, it was canyons and dirt, long showers after boring sex. Her husband: all earth. Here, they were all bodies, purple Gatorade, no sleep. II. Third Eye Blind on Spotify, […]

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