The Emperors Garden (Dadu, Peking)
Inedible, incredible: white, pink, and green
Trilling, tweeting, drilling in my brain
Short, squat trees, no horizon in sight
Despair around me; things with feathers
He looked at me from a window above
Was it longing, was it disgust?
Was I dragon, spirit to him, or just,
Another thing, object, a useless gift.
I was like a tower of silence
Amidst the babble of men, the shrieking of birds.
The only memory of my once-land
My black companion, rope in hand.