Greed’s Prisoner                                  

for the dispossessed wife

a prisoner
presses into the crowd of your life
so cruel and full of greed
won’t even let you
buy a bouquet of flowers for yourself
a piece of chocolate, a pretty dress
he doesn’t give you
time, not a single minute
does he give you

the smoke in your cupped palm
he breathes in, breathes in, completely
even the ashes don’t belong to you, his body
in the prison of the Communist Party
so that the spirit-cell you built
without a door without a window
without a thread of a crack
locks you in solitude
to rot

he forces you to endure each night
in the carcass of denunciation
he controls your pen
makes you write endless letters
makes you desperate to find hope
your suffering’s been trampled upon
his boredom’s one pleasure

that bird of yours
is lost in the torturous palm-
lines of his hand
where each path
has betrayed you

this emptied-eyed all-ignorant dictatorship
has plundered your corpse
in one night white hair covers your crown
completing his legend, his myth
the moment he sees himself brimming with righteous deeds
you already possess nothing
but this prisoner
has deathly-seized the white space of your future

another sun comes
once more he issues an order
once more you must walk the road alone
without body without memory
using this hollowed life
to carry his heavy book-load
on the road to him
he is very good at exploiting
each chance to dispossess you
of your possibilities

my wife
in this dust-weary world of
so much depravity
why do you
choose me alone to endure

July 23, 1999