A western man meets a woman
in the suburbs of Shanghai.
Without a common language,
the gaze remains the only intermediary,
making of each exchange an enigma
to relish. China peels off the layers
of its skin in the electric night,
where that which is most alive
flickers brightly. But there exists
another life that overlaps,
a spectral presence altering
the poem, almost like a parasite
that feasts on the imagination,
allowing time to reassert its control.