In the Field
The bungalow is empty now. The clock swings in silence. (I see Grandpa taking me to the urine bucket on a mossy floor, where bamboo curtains moldered.) The bigger room of the first uncle is filled with webs; over there, the second uncle’s smells dusty; the third room (used to be a pig sty) was built for the third uncle, now a monk in the mountains.
Outside the door, dogs hear the squeak. You ride me on the bike, like those mornings when we had shadows—don’t be sad the rice paddies are full of weeds. In the field, fireflies shine with your favorite stars; they are friends saying good-bye. They call out your name: Peace Pine. Peace Pine. It isn’t far and let me walk with you—cross the bridge of orchids, So Long, my pine, So Long, my pine.
J. E. Wei's prose poem appeared in Sentence 6 and in Best American Poetry 2010. He teaches at St. John's University in Taiwan.