The first night I dream of him
he pulls his fists out of my chest.
I stare at his middle knuckles
until they are the stones that replace the eyes
of the dead. His crown jewels, his middle
The second night I dream of him,
he almost walks right past me
in his uniform. When he stops, the light is a dim
copper water. He orders me
to attention. He moves like
a burning mannequin.
The third night I dream of him,
I present him with a blood orange
in a crowded mall. He pretends
this is not ceremony, tells me
not to call him Master
with so many people around.
I bow to him. I bow to him even
as he walks away.
Simon Shieh is a poet and educator living in Beijing. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Spittoon Literary Magazine, which translates and publishes the best new Chinese writers into English. Simon’s work appears or is forthcoming in Spillway, Grist, The Journal, Passages North, BOOTH, and Cleaver Magazine, among other publications.