In the Imagined Beauty of Shangri-La

                                                                         a long walk
from Hualien
(her winter home)
they creep from the trees and cascade to
catch the glitter-dew we disturb
they glide and slither in a fervous murmuration
furious and aroused at our
loving invasion. She weeps, too,

once
free in Kunlun peaks, now alive
in mindful conquest

our shimmer brings them
from the haze:
a cream-gray singer with a
seagrass smile
like a sapphire in a smoky room.
a slender vixen soars
with Basquiat’s crown
and lips sweeter than the West.  one
with impatient eyes,
puffed cheeks and my first father’s beard,
trailing nephews
like bits of braised rice née beanstalks.
a leaf-litter-mottled
lingerer, flaunting humble comfort,
and one, half-plated, a silent brown
in whispering green mist.

they smell our intrusion from
Her sultry familiarity
and gather in our wake
as we lust-wonder through her swollen
tropic
in what would be trespassing
and because we’ve never
known her, they watch.

look, you say, your voice
a virgin’s guide, inside
them.  frozen to reason, our prints
half-filled, they open to a glance.  inside them,
like pearls she could spit, is
a portrait
of our ruin,
unadorned with her exoticism or
the signature of aimless desire.
it smiles from these eager depths,
leaning into our discomfort from the sunken
angelblooms.  it thrives in new obeisance,
bright
and fanged among the husks of coils and
leather wings,
unclothed,

the lover
inside the loved.