They name years after animals

Dog year ,ox year , year of the Rooster

So that much passion is left

In this year

In this last wild month of dog year

Call it Yin or feminine

And break the line

All the lines cloth line

Head line, including the life line

I can call it food and untangle the

knots of noodles , sticks straighten

them, swallow them like worms

swallow them like worms

And say Acuna Machado

Like a lost frightened lion cub

I can make manchow soup

put it in  white porcelain

Saying it is  an experiment

In a petri -dish ,taste it.

Watch the peaceful ambassadors

with bald heads and long plaits

Small puffed eyes like Huen-Tsang

Who may never sing

I can make pleated skirts

From their fans for dolls

Or veils to hide the rejection fears

In a bridal sketch .

A culture of drinking tea

And recall ceremonies

Hearing the wind

In chiming bells

If the perfect man is in china ,

It is in this planet . Loyalty of

this year licks recent wounds

hidden in the weeks of the weak end

I don’t think the perfect man

In China can have your discerning


He may not be perfect.

( All the best imported toys I ever got was from China, So I believed as a child everything best was from China. 🙂


  1. i love this poem for several reasons. one, this is a very deceptive piece. the start documents the passion of the chinese in naming years after animals – this year being that of the dog – a man’s best friend, a symbol of loyalty. then the poem morphs into the child fantasy of perfection while playing ‘house’, and then just as you think this is about toys, the poem hits hard. the toys are not toys but a representation of what has been observed and lived – the recreation of a life from the ‘perfect’ importations from china, used in this case to create a perfect marriage situation. but no sweet recreation can stop the ‘fears of rejection’ in the bridal sketch, even if she has proved to be a perfect bride who can sew and cook. the part i really love is that which speaks of the perfect man – why can’t the man in the persona’s recreations and society be a perfect man like the porcelain toys from china if they both live in the same planet – for the dog, a man’s best friend and a symbol of loyalty, now licks the wound the (dog of a ) man has left. i also love the irony that closes the poem, “I don’t think the perfect man/In China can have your discerning/eyes./He may not be perfect.” the one with the discerning eyes is the one that may not be perfect. in essence, being perfect changes the man into a robot who seeks perfection in his woman – who, being human and impefect like the chinese, can never meet the brutal standards of the ‘perfect man.’ this is just my interpretation, may not be what you have in mind. however one reads this, it is a deceptively brilliant piece of writing.


  2. Thank you for the comment , you got the essence as I expected. Expectation of perfection in self or the other is childish is the essence. And loyalty as a quality of the animal is outlined, if there is no animal attraction towards a man , can there be loyalty ? And wounds do not beget loyalty . I missed your comments , thank you for responding.


  3. I loved this. It tells the bond of animals and human beings from ages. How the humans have respected them all these years not just for their benefits but also for the love they deserves, their importance in our lives and their unconditional love and teachings they give to us sans saying anything.
    Kudos for this one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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