to Ai Weiwei, and others who were ‘forced to disappear’
It’s been thirty hours and you are looking for us.
Thirty days, thirty years,
One and many missing people are looking for us,
You left your footprints in the hills, the bushes, the riverbeds,
in the shape of a human figure
in the shape of a country where people can breathe freely,
as vast as the void left by your absence, filled with newly fallen snow.
Now we eat just to practice your hunger,
Now we sleep just to become your dream,
Now we awake just to speak for you, with missing mouths,
And to speak is to spit out the blood clot in your mouth,
To spit the blood clot is to shake our fists at the blustery wind,
To shake our fists is to prove our existence,
And to exist is to deny
the omnipotence of nothingness.
Days changed from red to black, and from black to yellow,
Still, crows comb their hair while seals make love, and people own their names,
But as they looked back they found their own standing selves had disappeared
The selves who had stayed to debate with a wall were swallowed by the wall’s shadow,
The selves who attempted to roll up the shadows into a parcel were confiscated,
The selves who had their recipients’ addresses erased were put through the paper shredder,
Each shred of paper was carrying a sharp fragment of a word.
We are left with fragments of words, rises and falls, twists and turns, disintegration. We are
Yesterday’s protests were written all over my body, the protests had become a poem.
let the ice saw cut all the way into the tree’s dream,
Let the horse look at its own footprints on the water like silver foil . . .
The stroller who rose up early had disappeared into the mist like horses,
The mist attempted to stride with its staggering hooves as does a nation yet unborn,
It searches for riders among us.
4 April 2011, midnight