• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 11
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The Mandarin

As empires crumble from the edges in,
mandarins scurry about the surface
sensing depths of black, serene emptiness
seeping through foundations
that give like plasticine –
and this is all about movement, or time, or balance.
What remains might remain as embers,
or a hint of green shoots,
and if the edifice dreams, it dreams
of gyroscopes, and stacks of spinning plates,
of drowning trees and resinous petroleum,
of the pirouettes of a falling clementine.