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April 19, 2005

Posted by anoddphrase in Uncategorized.




shadows on a Beijing night



and it felt like summer in April.




[as]  i stepped out into the black, maroon night¡ªthe light pollution in the air, hovering only inches above the horizon, coloring the sky burgundy against the initial black that was on my irises as i stepped out into the Beijing night


it was warm like the womb


just cool enough to make me glad that i¡¯d pulled on that light zip-up sweatshirt i¡¯d gotten ripped off with for 60 kuai the week before, but the humidity was like summer, making the skin on my legs cringe underneath the thick denim of my jeans


under the low yellow lights that lined the sidewalks of my qu¡ªon the benches that still looked damp from the rain i hadn¡¯t known had fallen (while i stayed, crunched up on the leather desk chair of my closet-like room inside, reading a story about China in America)¡ªsat figures of shadows, only the edges of their faces illuminated palely by the yellow lights lines up neatly beside them¡ªtoo low to really show asnything at all


they sit, contemplating the warm springy night


one on every bench¡­ almost equally apart


watching passer-bys: lovers hand-in-hand, businessmen with suitcases coming home from a meeting, too late for dinner; and older people sandbuing their way by¡­ babies in carriages


and the strange sounds of electronic noises in the distance¡ªthings that have only entered the scene in the past few years, 1998 onward, i¡¯m told: i can only imagine the perfect silence that must have filled the air before


or the human murmurs i can hear quietly below the high-level noise of my qu hear and now¡­


but the moist smell of earth and ozone fills the air, and in the distance i see the shadows of clothes hanging to dry in the pale hospital white windows of the student dormitory directly across from me


before i stretch my head higher to look for the stars.



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