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Friends of Two Moons

There is as much poetry in your eyes

I want to read as you do in mine

And slowly I see my life in the form of a moon

That rises from the twilight of your eyes

And when each night comes

You would change into a paper rabbit

And hum me to sleep
In my dream the city is half Siem Reap

And half Phnom Penh and sometimes nowhere

My soul walks along with the ghosts

And my body is enchanted with the deathsongs

I want to hold your hands onto my painted face

And then bury them deeply into my breasts

Where my memory is kept

But I know that this is the time

When your poetry is made of despair

And grief leads you into the emptiness of the street

And your vision is all under the moon with her sullen stare

For I feel you only half inside me

And the other half is indulged in death

Yet, your mind is ever alert for the outside

So night after night, you searched for your buried ancestry

And listened carefully to the noodle vendor

Trudging along our street with his battered cart

Alone with darkness, he would offer the usual simple song!

My passion for you grew and soon crumbled

Before I was left aside to hear

The soft beating of your heart echoing his calloused feet

Such a night is like my worship for you, tortured

And twisted like a wounded bird, unable to lift her wings

And I realized that your love is the past

As the old man piped the noodle song loud and clear

The distance drew him slowly out of sight

And, in the stillness, I looked at you

And feared his gray tune of the lonely night

Whatever you have created for me has a reason to depart

And I begin to understand

That the moon of the East can not be borrowed to the West

And equally, the moon of the West is not the best

Like a story that has no beginning or end

You are not my forgiveness

And I am not your apology

(Liu He, a Chinese-Canadian, is a former DES in Siem Reap.)

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