Seven Star Praying Mantis Shaolin

                                                   Argyle Street,

The light of dusk through the shallow
hallway on her milky backside

is demurely screened, illuminating the silk brocade tunic
gathered around her necklaced ankles,

a delicate mooncake.

I wish she was the gold many-limbed statue
come to life, Heaven’s Concubine,

her black waterfall hair
cascading down bare shoulders

not the she-warrior

her lime sash loop-knotted over black billowy sheer pants
tucked in above suede monkey-style boots.

Summon for the fourth form to begin
and let us face the tribunals together

Chop raw sand, slap bare palm down
then reverse backhand on lead pellets


let the herbal-soaked alcohol deaden nerves,
penetrate the aorta.

Bow and salute three lit punks
three times

deeply inhaling incense
wafting ancestral reverence

meditative trance, spiritual force-field.

Believe the natural power,
effortless swoosh through agnostical air

a crane, Sadaharu Oh,
patient hands back.

Entrust your aural meat cleaver tong
like John Woo hatchet men

a simple matter of faith
protect blood, sinewy

explosive cut left unbalanced
vulnerable, a synaptic response or

some might say Pavlovian
centaur sweep me off my feet.

She floats by, her shoulders tilted
so razor-sharp brown nipples slash my retina.

A quick glance behind the curtained red door left ajar
turns me to salt.

Many nights have gone by

since you last poured tea from heirloom cloisonné
set on still-life trays in exchange
for hoong baos,

        double happiness
        gold coins

and my childhood

jade green