GHAZAL NO. 2 by M. Cynthia Cheung
Silks traveled through many hands, starting in the Orient.
Don’t tell me, love, God made the stars for us to orient.
Before we ever started, war gathered across continents.
Still, love, I’d forgotten your penchant to disorient.
Your ash rains again from the west, blotting the lords of the sky.
Tell me how to set fire to pearls—that blinding orient.
You return to the argument: Let me show you how to….
—always said I was too unsophisticated to orient.
Oolong uncoils in my cup, your sugar on my tongue.
Who thought I’d turn infidel? Your sense of orientation?
I can’t pay your price anymore—my useless milk, wasted blood.
Only your skill to distract. It’s ornamental, almost oriental.
The moon covers the sun. It’s God, not astronomy, remember?
Never mind where I’ve gone—the sky’s too overcast to reorient.