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Fans Afloat I
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the secret language of women
2002 by PJ Nights

beside a well one does not thirst
beside sisters one does not despair

    ~ a Nu Shu saying ~


as a small hummingbird her skipping rhymes
took flight on the feathers of milkweeds

as a beautiful crane her guileless pipa notes
were bound into new moons that she might

skim the tops of golden lilies in tiny slippers
forget song in the sun of the three-legged raven

still the vermillion bird rises again

to weave her words into persimmon cloths
embroider solace in curves and canted lines

she blows poems to sisters from the folds of her fan
she carries wisdom in ashes from a funeral pyre



~ thanks to Dorothy Mienko for her inspiration

Language & Prejudice July '03