Walls and No Wall

The door is closed,
My shadow casts onto
a wall while I sit
on a rock waiting.
The hands and legs of pedestrians climb
onto my darkness, then
move into daylight.

My darkness is now your darknes
which rides on a train with no destination
and the sign reads,
Where are we ?
My shadow falls onto every puddle in the rain.
I ask the reflection to read a name,
Where are you ?

You were the one who once buried
long years of sunlight and moonlight in the library in
Washinton Square and hid the fingers of a poet in
a Upper East Side kitchen,
and wrote poems with a frown,
I want to go home !

Are you now writing a new page
on the Demoncratic Wall in Beijing, while I am
waiting outside the door ?
Open, Open
The barrier of what they call,
you a son and me a guest.

How did we get catagorized ?
Capitalist, Socialist, rare species,
orphan, friend, and enemy.
By the left side and the right side of the Pacific ?
Or, demonstrations in Washington or Beijing ?
Or, we each meditate for enlightenment to a different wall ?

I walk in your name,
names, or no name:
Idealist, nihilist, anarchist,
spiritualist, stupid, or void,
on a path we have been building for ten years:
Book, and books,
Theory, and theories,
short hair, and long hair,
shaved beard, and Karl Marx's beard.
And then:
a box, and boxes of
dogmas, dreams, slogans,
united fronts, and differences.

One day you decided to quit N.Y.U.
and to use your so-called petty-bourgeois Ph.D. to serve
democracy at Beijing U.
I wait outside the door and they say I am the U.S.
studying Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams.

The truth is, each of us is a passer-by on
a path, many paths, or no path.
Like the day when we sued a landlord called The Trump at the
Small Claims Court in Queens. It all depends on
the day, the time, and the place
where we had neither heat nor electricity and a cup of milk
was heated on a candle flame
while you laid your hand on my forehead
to test a fever,
leaving, leaving.

On a train from Hong Kong to Beijing.
Or a plane from Frankfurt to New York.
Or a bus in Paris.
From Hugo to Heisenberg.
From Neurda to Rodin.
Always moving forward and
leaving behind what has already been claimed.
Like love in a small room,
it must grow, grow
to include more than two, and the love of
a nation must expand, expand
to surround the circle of a globe.

We waved good-bye at the edge
of the globe where a hand extended, extended
to the far end
until I could no longer see you, and we
submerged inside a door.
many doors, or no door.

As evening falls,
someone takes me inside the door
as a guest.
I cannot find you,
I leave a bundle of wild daisies
by a pond named No Name.

1990, New York
(To my friend, Ah Yu who passed away)

(Photo: One of the democratic walls in Beijing - for big and small posters)

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