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MAP (5) by Ye Chun

5. Lhasa

Seeds tier in a pomegranate.
Sweat beads convex-mirror corners of a night.
You pick up a piece of coal from roadside,
wrap it in a blue and green checked handkerchief

5. Lhasa

Seeds tier in a pomegranate.
Sweat beads convex-mirror corners of a night.
You pick up a piece of coal from roadside,
wrap it in a blue and green checked handkerchief
and give it to me: What makes you feel warm?
In the Himalayas, a snow leopard
spins gold in early morning. I tie a prayer flag
to a balloon and let go. Its little feet step through clouds
and rain falls on the white stupas, the hind-scalps
of prostrating pilgrims who say: om mani padme hum, om
mani padme hum, om mani padme hum…

Buddhakapala

(Skullcup of Buddha)

presides over

twenty-five deities

two hands

holding his consort

(Citrasena)

four hands

his skullcup

chopper

ceremonial staff

and drum

In the dancer’s pose

(ardhaparyanka)

he stands on a corpse

supported by a lotus

 

Ye Chun’s “MAP”, continued…

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About Ye Chun

Ye Chun
Ye Chun’s second collection of poetry, Lantern Puzzle, received Tupelo Press’ 2011 First/Second Book Award. Her translation of Hai Zi's poetry, Wheat Has Ripened, is also forthcoming from Tupelo. Her other books include Travel Over Water (Bitter Oleander Press, 2005) and a novel in Chinese, Peach Tree In The Sea (People’s Literature Publishing House, 2011). She currently teaches at the University of Missouri where she is a Ph.D. candidate.