The Year of the Rooster, Dragon Dance in Little Saigon

February 12, 2017

when mom tells home tales of her parents

they are muddled in myth and mystery

—they never said much  but always talked story—

 

and it is unclear how great-grandparents died

—they went to India and we went to France—

that was that      so       we fill in the gaps

 

blow eighty-thousand fire pangs at the sun

and keep the dark away with a fizz-bang-flash 

roaring   pet the dragon  pet the dragon   feed it red

 

Bolsa is littered today with red paper and gun powder

boys turning to legend outside the jewelry store

becoming little men    inside the dragon

   

dancing like war amongst the fire cracking

a crowd has gathered to hear the drums

a crowd has gathered to hear the drums

 

cymbals clash

clang                 

the dragon’s head rears and rises

        

 mouth agape    closed    a    gape

 feed me red              feed me red

 the Rooster calls        into sunset

 

 

ward off evil      push back death  

drive the demon down

send a wish and s e a l it in breath

 

our shadows grow long                      wisps of smoke

the smell of trout and French bread

feed me life                 feed me red

 

 

the veterans     kneeling in the graveyard  

play music for the stones

feed the dead                         feed the dead

 

cat jumps over the corpse

watch it sit up!

yellow flowers bloom in their bed

 

Rooster breathes fire into the snowy mountain

flame and ice the new year folded in

scraps of paper floating home

 

blown by this the new year wind

dance into dawn                      feed the breathing

push off the night                                         eat the light!

 

 

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