eat pagoda

Xi Wa 《吃塔》

somewhere in the south on a restaurant table
I saw a pagoda
of red shining pork
(I hope I don’t remember its name)
when it appeared
I gazed on that thing
couldn’t take off my eyes

all the other dishes
had become worshippers
I was a worshipper
until I remembered
where I was born
in tibet
all those believers around a pagoda
their heads on the ground, offering incense
I was one of them
now I am one of them here

all those years, I kept my respect
for the mystery of a pagoda
I also kept my taboos about foods
looking at this pagoda of pork
red dazzling meat
I understand what appetite means:
people will eat all they can eat
and they will eat up all things they can’t

raising their chopsticks, sharing the food
the shining pagoda
pork dazzling red
I didn’t hear any sound
but it was as if I could see the dust
the rumbling dust
of our beliefs prostate on the ground
shoved down the throats of other people
their juices have no taboos
they clear it up without any sound

Tr. MW, Febr. 2014

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