1.

turquoise town

flagged rooftops

revolution red

ripped on the city outskirts

 

binoculars on Buddha’s blessings

butter melting

the sage fired air

 

curtains pulled

over Beijing’s chosen Panchen

homage to a stolen lama

 

military molestation

a monk pat down measure

at temple gates

 

machine gun checkpoints

operating their lungs

over chanting nomads

 

clockwise hum plaited

om mani padma hung

in the hair of pilgrims

in the base of the belly

in the neck

behind eyes

in the right breast

 

a tourist attraction

 

one way permeability

all Tibetan passports

confiscated in 2012

 

2.

the train reversing

a forty-hour goodbye

in a smoke-filled carriage

beige borders blur

ranges melt

 

an airport gate

a wing span night

waves folding on the sound

of the 747

a cold window thaws

into an opposing season

 

Air Asia knees

white slippers under blanket

in the seat pocket

Hemmingway’s The Old Man And The Sea

written in Chinese and English

bought at the Beijing station

and permitted

to enter Lhasa

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