Red Lanterns
Chinese New Year, Shanghai
It’s when the icy winter winds
bluster down The Bund, spraying
pin-prickles of dust, scudding
the sky, scattering the fish-paper,
ruffling waters of the ancient Huangpo,
driving the hardiest of romantics to shelter,
that the bars and alleys blaze, strung
with luminous fruit; apples, cherries,
strawberries—or, are they radiant
ruby necklaces?  Détente:
your hand on my knee, the thaw,
the glow of beating, suspended hearts
in our brandy snifters, talismans
of heat, sex; believe, red lanterns
can seduce a girl in a frigid city.

Lauren Tivey

If you have any comments on this poem, Lauren Tivey would be pleased to hear them.