tiananmen square revisited (poem)

i was not there in tiananmen square

not in nineteen hundred and eighty nine

i remember

a huge square

and huge square buildings

and a long red wall

with a portrait of mao

i remember a monolith

a statue

(maybe it was somewhere else?)

i remember smartly dressed guards

around the statue

and we climbed it to take pictures

and they couldn’t stop us

because we were tourists

who didn’t know any better

i remember some hotdog-like stand

and people in blue and white and brown and black and grey

walking around

staring at us

because we were in tight denim jeans

and tucked in tee shirts

and high heels

and they were in pajamas

i can still see the flat stones

covering the square

square stones laid end to end

and side to side

hundreds of them

a greying white in the sunlight

when i try to see the squares now

i see thousands of heads

not squares

and people in blue and white and brown and black and grey

and red

and when i look again

the stones there are

greyish white in the sunlight

some blotched it seems

with brown that might have been red

but still square stones

laid end to end

and side to side

hundreds of them

and no different from each other.

 

© Cindy Lapeña, 2012

 

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