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April 2013, vol 9, no 1

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Jianqing Zheng

Disco in China

Seng’s wife, fully upset by his snore, wonders how he can produce such a mixed chorus: train whistle, cracking hinge, and disco drumbeat. He used to fall asleep after she slept like a boat moored on his arm, in the lapping of his hand. Tonight, coming home drunk, Seng flops into bed, not caring if his wife needs a chat or a moan. Instead, he lies there like a cold, wet rock covered with green moss. She sighs a little, gets up, and walks to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. She wants to think aloud why he’s been crazy with disco in the past few weeks and whose name he sometimes mumbles in sleep and why he churns her wish to make a good dream as cool as vanilla ice cream.

Cathay House—
the Sichuan tofu
too sour