• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 02
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The Uighur Prince

I paint you mostly as I remember you my love,
Like an Uighur Prince,
Fearless and majestic.
I am hoping you will be quietly amused
For it is a caricature after all.
And I wish you would laugh a little,
Perhaps even tease me as I tease you.
Instead – and when no-one is looking –
You cover me with desperate kisses and
sometimes I feel your tears too.
Between your kisses and your tears,
Your warm whispers
Tickle my ears:
‘Don’t give up! Your talent is god-sent!’
Your tone is always grave.
In this race against time,
As our skin moves closer to our bones,
I paint you as I remember you;
With your proud velvet beard,
Your jet black hair I used to wrap my fingers in,
And that red coat you loved so much,
Stolen by one of the guards
On our first day in the camp.
I’ve seen him wear it once or twice –
He looked like a clown without a purpose.
We must laugh at him my love,
Though I know how it angers you to be here
All because our skin is darker
And they don’t like our god.


The Uighur Prince

But even as we gradually wither away
And our thoughts too are stolen from us,
(And we must use their language
in this damned process they call ‘re-education’),
I will continue to paint you as I remember you my love
Like an Uighur Prince,
Fearless and majestic.