Nothing romantic about China

by Nora Gomringer

Nothing romantic about China

rabbits in trees

dragons on boxes

red underwear when your year is called

phoenix marries and must not receive pears

and if you are with child: wear socks

cook those blossoms of trees and bushes

and comb your hair with a hint of jade

grind the tiger, boil the turtle out of its shell

obey the 8 and fear the half of it

and never turn a fish on your plate

tattoo the koi and spoil your child before it turns six

and rotten

and know that parks are lovers’ terrain

when the sun goes down

on your Western ideas and you steal through them

too embarassed to look

Originally English by Nora Gomringer, published in “Mein Gedicht fragt nicht lange – reloaded” (Publishing house Voland & Quist 2015)