November 1, 2017 orangeq2017

Lunch Poem 6/23/14

There's some kind of festival today – I don't know what for
But a rain of yellow flowers keeps falling, like confetti
All the trees are flowering
With their faces open, turned toward us – turned almost 
Inside out, and ready to die at a touch.

I touch one and get a handful of eggshells 
Brittle and thin, and white threads and slim pistils.

It was hot and got hotter
As we walked between two buses
Blowing hot air from the exhaust pipes
Kate says, I wish I was on an air conditioned bus
Heading for the middle of nowhere
	For a lake with giant ships 
Stacked tall as thunderclouds

In the midday heat I saw the preciousness of fountains
How they give themselves freely, and watch it all return
With a patience untouched by the fevers of time
And calling to my own fountains
The well water left in me from last winter's end
Because this, I realized, was what I want to be in her life
When everything burns
The pool of cool, drinkable water
Hidden deep in the shade


Mike Zhai was born in Shanghai and grew up on the West Coast of the United States. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is the founder and facilitator of One Pause Poetry Salon.


Read more Mike Zhai poems published in Orange Quarterly:

Love Poem (winner of the 2017 Green House Poetry Prize)

Bart to SF


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