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Stacey Duff: Storms in Search of a Second Person

September 15, 2012 2:24 pm | Posted by: khristina_w

(from Issue Eight)

a moment in the air after rains in Shanghai
the girl Kyra opens the book the sky reads;
all the people are walking streets in Monday colors;
looking up at the opposite table the man feels an inevitable chill
as the woman stares back, starry and sour as some summer
in some forgotten corner of a party where the slaughter is born;
out on another street in the same city where the rain falls now
an inadvertent yawn sends both lovers to experience a chain of nude episodes—
intimacy with anonymous strangers in palaces left unadorned;
pleasures in Shanghai are felt just as houses are built, twilight peacocks
clucking deep within the walls of a flowering Jericho; the nipple
that waits for one true sign is just as sad as the name
that kisses one false nipple, even as an infatuated prince named Dirty Shane
goes down on his Monday pimp in the damp closet of a Tuesday afternoon;
hours ago and all last night the citizens of Shanghai
couldn’t delineate the seas from the skies; this morning the aliens
dropped, camouflaged in the downpour, with a velocity so unearthly
that even the most astute meteorologists looked astounded
and temples were blown away, tricking all instruments to egregious silence.
silence in this wet season means death. silence in this moment
makes of god a shy but ornate virgin flapping like a slip of silk flesh
just below the storm in the calm cool air, just like a divine
falling star drowns in some midnight pissoir; Kyra
closes the book the sky reads, and the drizzle
moves toward the man’s glowing hair even as the city
bows in the shadows of the oncoming mountains, and birds
twitch because birds can still distinguish
the lighter rains that splice tight night to dawn
from other forms of advanced precipitation that are bound to blow love
out and to level the land for several miles around.


Stacey Duff is a Beijing-based poet, art critic, and translator.


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