Poetry From the June 2013 issue: The Queer Issue IV
carefully giving it some thought
the lines on my palm have deflected for you some now
I suppose my dirty beard, my fiendish leg hair will graduate in time
that someone of my years should care about minutiae
but it’s true I never held you in my arms
those training grounds where one prepares for hardship
even the most majestic backdrop wouldn’t be a match for
this bucktoothed “Cheese” into the camera
then good-bye good-bye
no one can escape his position
dreams, love poems, and sorries
are easily broken things
many on Earth have been assigned to play perpetrator
many more victim
it’s just that
if somebody should set me down again carelessly
I couldn’t take it the second time
thank you thank you it all started from that day
together we stood boldly by the precipice to pee
behind us a lake brimmed with the noise of crows
in my giddy state, I felt that someone of good heart
(and besides our pees were kinda crossing)
would have his love returned
at this point, the momentous decision must be made
for whom you mustn’t readily drop to your knees
for whose sake you will spend a lifetime
building up your front
for example taking a pair of scissors to the couple shot at the hot springs
frozen at “Cheese”
holding it over the most important part
then good-bye good-bye
 In Chinese palmistry, it is believed that the lines on a palm change to reflect a shift in its owner’s fate.
© Jing Xianghai. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2013 by Lee Yew Leong. All rights reserved.
Jing XianghaiJing Xianghai
Jing Xianghai is a Taiwanese psychiatrist as well as poet and essayist. His four collections of poems to date are A Wanted Man (2002), A Mental Home (2006), Nobita (2009) and The Wanted, The Horny (2012); his collections of essays Looking for Friends Along the Coastline (2004) and A Welder of the Milky Way (2011).
Translated from ChineseChinese by Lee Yew LeongLee Yew Leong
Lee Yew Leong is the founding editor of Asymptote. Based in Taipei, he is the author of three hypertexts, one of which won the James Assatly Memorial Prize for Fiction (Brown University). He has written for The New York Times and DIAGRAM among other publications.
This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.