the wall with no moon gate

The caged bird owes no allegiance;
The wind-tossed flower does not cling the tree.

Bai Juyi, Losing a Slave-Girl

i once met wild geese
from the garden
of the floating cup.

we watched silently
as the gardener turned
the small pavilions
into cages and filled
the winding streams
with red and yellow.

the masons added
a new layer of figures
made of terracotta
to the wall around,
and hunters cast
their nets to curb
the birds’ freedom.

i once met wild geese
waiting by the wall
with no moon gate.

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