普通的女人

李珊瑚

我不是一滴珍珠

我不是一颗眼泪

我不是一个季节

我不是一个疑问

我不是一个影子

我不是一片荷叶

我只是一个女人

住在红色的房子里

跟一个黑白色的小狗

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Houston Dispatch

Shanhu Lee

A highway over another highway

Crossing like a braided bread.

Wild oak trees on the street covered 

By dust and ozone and nitrogen oxides.

Old white van sitting in the UH Law Center,

Dignified in the burning sunset.

Inside the van, the steamy temperature 98 F.

We installed two new AC units

And 12 box fans to recirculate stagnant air.

Scroll pumps cry aloud then stop,

Even stainless steel chambers cannot take the heat.

But we survived one week, then another week.

In God’s hands – we say every evening 

When we leave the trailer in the dark.

Heading to the America’s Best Value Inn,

A cheap motel near the Medical Center.

Here AC runs violently, feels like the Arctic.

Strangers shout and smoke and spat 

At the night in the parking outside our rooms.

Who knows who these people are,

Who knows why they stay with us 

In the middle of the insane September.

Two more weeks to go till we pack

Our things and head back to Huntsville.

Until then, we say: everything is 

In God’s hands. This God’s land.

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The Face of Smell

– Parody of Nancy Morejón’s The Dead

Heaven Lake

The smell is what’s absent,

invisible, unforgotten.

Queen of the Night blooms,

its loneliness swaying amid the moonlight.

The smell comes from my dream

or it comes from the dusk

to feed my repulsion,

from wind chimes,

from father’s molded winter coat,

from perilla leaves,

from spoons and sea sprays,

from the knife blinded by use,

on the graffiti of malls,

on the shadow,

on the skin,

on spin.

In the droplets of fog,

appears the face of smell.

In the fragment of the Heaven Lake

upholding high clouds,

lies the hidden smell of history.

The smell remembers.

The smell dances.

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Nine Canzone

Shanhu Lee

Nine

Who are these nine ugly people?

Do they think they are the god(s)?

It’s none of your business!

Get fuck out of my business.

When did I give them this power?

They are just nine regular people,

With all possible flaws like all other people.

And now, they decide to dictate my life?

Decide what I should do with my life?

They became the justices, chosen by the wrong people.

This is not about pro-life or pro-choice.        

I don’t want to live by someone else’s choices.

Gee, they don’t look like the god–

They are just nine ugly flawed people.

Do they really believe they are the god(s)?

Well, I don’t believe in God!

For wrong reasons, they became justices.

They are just nine senseless people,

Selected by even more senseless people.

And now they make the laws?

About my life? What’s kind of laws!

Do they really believe they are the god(s)?

This is not about pro-choice or pro-life.

No one can decide what I should do with my life.

It’s my body; it’s my life.                   

It’s none of your business.

Whether I live a happy life,

– or a miserable life.

It’s none of your business.

You cannot dictate my life.

I decide what I do with my life.

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None of Your Business

Shanhu Lee

It’s none of your business.

Whether I am married or not.

It’s my life. It’s my choice.

Whether I have children or not.

Whether I am heterosexual or not.

Some choose one way or another.

Whether I am sexual or asexual.

Is one way better than the other?

Some choose one way or another.

Who said we should have it all?

Is one way better than the other?

What if I don’t want to have it all?

Who said we want to have it all?

Who defines my happiness?

I don’t want to have it all.

Is one side of the coin better than the other?

Who defines my happiness?

You cannot have both sides of the coin.

Is one side of the coin better than the other?

This is the law of thermodynamics:

You cannot have both sides of the coin.

It’s my life. It’s my choice.

That is the law of thermodynamics.

It’s none of your business.

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The Ancestors

Shanhu Lee

Coral reefs in changing climate

The ancestors live in the warm Siberian thaw in spring,

With rising carbon dioxide and methane.

The ancestors sing in the deforested Amazon rainforest.

Moonlights rain in the wildfire.

The ancestors roam in the yard with Canadian geese,

white-tailed deers, and hellebore flowers.

The ancestors bloom in blue, red, and white coral reefs.

They hide in the Forthesia bush with cardinals.

The ancestors play Nintendo with children and chickens,

in the Sunday afternoon in the kitchen.

The ancestors cook shiitake and chanterelle risotto,

For my fifty-fourth birthday.

The ancestors climb ice in the Boulder Canyon in January.

They tell me to watch out for blackbirds.

The ancestors traverse to the moon. They live with

two ­rabbits, and a flute made of moonstone.

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Not The Furniture Game

Shanhu Lee

Forever Aspen

Her smile was subtle like the rain on a sunny summer day.

Her eyes were brown like olives ripe on the desert.

Her nose was her delicate weapon for survival.

Her teeth were strong as a chainsaw that could cut the oak tree.

Her ears were sensitive antenna receiving signals from hundreds of miles away.

Her brain was as small as a peanut but full of imagination.

Her mind was the representation of God.

Her heart was like a tender and sweet strawberry.

Her paws were the language of love.

Her tail was a tall flag held by a royal soldier, sometimes disappearing between her legs like a mouse hiding from a cat.

Her hair was soft and silky like my grandmother’s hair brush.

Her body was my warm blanket.

Her smell was the most delicious beef stew.

Forever Aspen.

I will look for you in heaven.

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Jade

Shanhu Lee

Acadia National Park

Sometimes things just don’t belong to her.

The jade earring just came out from

her ear and slipped on the ground silently,

when she walked Aspen this evening.

She went out to look for the earring in the dark

with her iPhone flashlight. She walked gently

and carefully not to smash the little earring

that lay on the cold ground.

Sometimes things just don’t belong to her.

They are tiny green jade drop earrings.

On her 24th birthday, Thomas presented to her.

The first gift she received from her lover.

On the second date. His eyes were as green

as jade. But she had never worn them. Somehow.

She lost the poles, one by one. She kept

the earrings in the safe for many years.

They traveled with her from Japan to France

To America. From Boston to Boulder,

to Denver, to Kent, and to Huntsville.

This spring she got new poles.

She had her jade earrings for the first time,

Today. Then she lost one earring

on her walk. Seems that sometimes

things just don’t belong to her.

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