Bird and Flower Market

Wrapped in shell, feather,
or clay
Shanghai meets the dawn
with rain
so fish may drink
and roots may suckle
So Jade may glisten
as the skin it really is

So salamanders, great tubs
of ink, can swarm
as stitches climbing silk

So chrysanthemums in pots
of earth can shoot explosive
red, then gold
And kittens huddled white,
can curl like lotus blossoms
against the cold

That men may crouch
above the songs
of beloved birds caged
with bowls
of mother-of-pearl

So spittle may become
one with earth
And lotus can gather
watery pearls

So a turtle, small
as a coin
or crusted and thick
against the glass
can wear its brilliance
before it floats
toward the pond
or heavenly pot

Destiny, as a gem,
dangling rain-like
before it drops