青 by Minying Huang

青1

after《白蛇传》2

 

一                                          You have written me green. It is the dark gall green, caustic. Skin, green. Scales, green. Heart, mean. Someone’s bane. In other stories, I read myself blue as the cold; cobalt brushing on porcelain; sky over snow. In undertones, low: women’s bane.

Today you write me wild-green, sick-green. Five hundred years young, I mar the spring, undying. She carries some

thousand years in her body, devoured immortality beneath the bridge. Unearthly, surely. More human than (you will have ever written) me, still.

 

二                                           Watching her fall in love so humanly. Tender West Lake boy, sweet-mouthed. Either: 汤圆3。Or: 团员4。Days unsound. What safe passage through time? Didn’t you hear? Either way, 缘份5:this thread running from his ankle to hers glistening red beneath the moon.

On days like this you write me jealous-green. This green blue-grey: women’s bane and wanting beneath the moon. In so

many of these stories, I mar her spring, bloodshot, undying, wanting him, reptilian. This cold blood, this cold blood, in cold blood –

 

三                                            I seek out other stories in which I am formless. Formless as: figment; the sky above her; tears hazed; banks of cloud; this thread running from her ankle to mine, did I imagine it? Not what I meant when I said: weightless; pain-less; skin-less. What safe passage?

Didn’t you hear? The vague, dripping sky. It – I could be ocean, too. After all, you think me chaos, callous, empty, unfeeling;

and I lack definition, chaotic, jaded, empty (of breath), feeling too much. The dull stun of too much, the opposite of clarity. I don’t know how to, or what I,

 

[feel]                                    .     

    

一                                          You have written me green. It is the dark gall green, caustic. Skin, green. Scales, green. Heart, lean. Uneasy. Maybe: if someone’s bane, only my own (and yours); if empty, only of breath. And this, maybe: it’s in the way you write me, my silence baleful, your hands around my neck.

Today I think my silence some kind of reticence after the fact. After hands, baleful (yours). What safe passage through time?

But didn’t you hear? I am the dark gall green she thought worth saving. And didn’t you hear? I fell in love. I felt it. I need you to hear this. I need you to know that I

 

[felt]                                      it. I need to know that I felt it. There is so much I need to hear. Will you write me

 

[green]                                  ? I am ready for it. Spring, I think, is here, and (she and) I have other stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 qīng: green/blue

2 Bái Shé Zhuàn: Legend of the White Snake

3 tāngyuán

4 tuányuán: (re)union

5 yuánfèn: fate

MINYING HUANG grew up in Cambridge, UK. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in PANK, Electric Literature, Nat. Brut, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Augur Magazine, among others. She is studying for an MA in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. She tweets @minyingh.

 

 

 

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