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Spirit of Butterflies Lovers, Story of A Chinese Classic Music


it’s not the music

I care about, I want to know where they fly


the ancient classmates are only girls or boys

but there is an exception

when one tells the other “he” is “she”

he almost drops his teeth


the story is cut short by people in literature

but it’s put into music

on tapes and on stage


it’s not the music

I care about, I want to know how they fly


You see the butterflies fly freely

fly deep into summer

when the thunderstorms splash the tomb of

a desperate lover

the girl runs into his tomb

and the two become butterflies and fly

into the bones of their descendants


it’s not the music

we care about, we care about how they become




you fly, on the top of a mountain

you suck the honey of your young flowers


you surround me like a lying snake,

deep in my back, every pore there


every layer of my skin is burning, peeled by a finger

as thin as a needle

you dress me in layers of clothes,

clothes of grief,

grief of loss

loss of love

love of madness in music

next door to my poetry


Shao Wei

Shao Wei is the recipient of the 1999 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award.


The Brooklyn Rail


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