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  Wang Ping
Wang Ping was born in China and came to the United States in 1985.
Wang Ping
Her publications include American Visa (1994), Foreign Devil (1996), Of Flesh and Spirit (1998) and most recently The Magic Whip (2003), all from Coffee House Press. She edited and co-translated New Generation: Poetry from China Today (1999), an anthology of Chinese poetry published by Hanging Loose Press. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the New York State Council for the Arts for poetry, and the Minnesota State Arts Board for fiction.

Need for Uncertainty

Wang Ping
Against the screen of the western wall
a moth flutters its striped wings.
Anonymous grass grows fat in the rain.
It nudges travelers
into discount malls.
Children, sighing, pick up books from under beds.
You bring in wood to light a fire.
I listen to your murmuring speech
through the bathroom keyhole,
but can't make out a word.

Summer crawls away with care,
splashing out endless baby's breath on the skylight.
Smoke escapes through the chimney—
its smell expands the damp air.
Someone is smashing dishes again.
Everything under control—
we didn't fight this Sunday,
and made love to Thirty-six Fillet.

Fated to be together
like canned sardines—
bones against bones,
but never meet.
In this glass cell,
things can be seen from different directions.

I take a deep breath and hold it
in my pubic region.
The grass outside the walls
is making its last chlorophyll of the day.

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