A Drowning at the Beijing Opera
by Li Min Hua


                            Ravaged, she jumps.

                             Miming a horseman,
                        her lover arrives too late;
                           peers down the well;
                         guesses what we just saw:

                       With five perfect somersaults
                         he hurls himself in air,
                            lands on his feet,
                           but leaves us there.

                              The west buries
                        such talent at the circus,
                      consigns objective correlatives
                            to academic poetry.







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