During the end of the Tang Dynasty (18–907
Surely you know I will rule your besieged kingdom in the afterlife, build the rivers so they flow into a great bath,
populate the land with plum trees, foliate the skies with golden birds.
Once I was more than a woman, more than a gold hair-pin, more than three thousand bathing concubines.
Once the soldiers followed the scents of my long braiding curls, cording around my neck.
They followed a peeling leader who trailed me the way a buzzard steals breath from the dying.
Surely you know that on this slope, aspens and spruce will eventually be wrapped in fencing,
honeysuckles hung with mesh, petunias draped by a stockade fence. The tethered animals
will go round and round a tree until they strangle themselves. My body will hang without its shadow.
(2004, Volume 25.3)