Last Glance at Qianzhou
No more open doors, no more easy nights at the barbeque listening to the unbroken music of a foreign tongue. Alone again, I have come and gone but am still here, and the river is still as green, the new crops growing in the shopkeepers’ self-plowed rows, vines twisting up the poles. The old men, frail from the famine years, short and hunched over their shadows, investigate every pile of trash hoping, like we have, to find some secret in a bottle that everyone else has missed.
Xiao Xue in a fit of rage pelted an ashtray across the flat. Baijiu is a dark character waiting to take you, thrill you with an easy darkness, get you there faster and she, crying out toward the slow river current “I love him!” waking up the neighbors but they don’t even stir, knowing with baijiu it is always this way.
Daniel Hoopes currently lives in China.