April thunderclouds in battleship formation
but the rain is light as we touch down.
At last, the swarming, noisy, candy-
colored streets of the city. Breakfast:
soy boiled eggs, red beans, dumplings,
strong coffee—four cups. For jet lag.
Tiananmen? Closed for ‘renovation’
& no one is surprised. So our guide Mr. Ho
distracts us, talking about love, Beijing-style,
how young people pay $11 for a broadcast ad,
while old-timers ballroom dance in the park.
There are still arranged marriages. A groom
doesn’t see the bride until the veil is lifted.
He tells us: In China it’s not rude to ask
personal questions, even of strangers.
That day Mr. Ho, our host, tells us what features
Chinese men most admire in women: oval face
dimples small mouth straight nose
That day, my companion is cranky.
I forget something in my room & again
I don’t hear (or remember) what he’s…
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