Tiananmen Knows No Ghosts Now

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Tiananmen Square is a clean place today.

Everything is swept before it can

dirty in the history of place.

 

No sign exists of the tanks that rolled,

the man in front of them,

the blood that flowed

like red sorghum seeds.

 

The cracked bricks

have been replaced

with new tera cotta tiles.

 

The first  memorial plaque

is invisible until you are

standing on top of it,

located at the Great Court

at the University of Queensland

4500 miles away.

 

IN MEMORY OF

THOSE WHO DIED IN TIENAMEN

SQUARE IN JUNE 1989,

its three lines read,

using the Aussie spelling.

 

In San Francisco  a 9.5 foot statue

modeled after the original

Goddess of Democracy

is located at the edges of

Chinatown in a park of

concrete and manicured trees.

 

On the anniversary Chinese police

put out temporary signs in

in the center of the Square warning

DO NOT LAY MOURNING WREATHS.

 

Banner displayers, victory gesturers,

those doing solitary hunger strikes,

are detained, questioned, disappear.

 

On the Party web the students are scrubbed.

The only sign of blood that lingered

in the summer air that June morning

is a  photo of the lone soldier who died

in the “counter revolutionary turmoil”.

 

The plugged in young are unaware.

They only know that the Party

reserves the right of your total erasure.

 

Just as the memories of Hiroshima/Nagasaki

are vanishing horrors in the Japanese soul,

Tiananmen is not worthy of ghostly echoes,

or even the lies printed in every official history.

 

Truth is the secret kept dark by the victors,

it’s locked in prisons and dark closets,

it speaks with the voice of exile

 

In the dark light and smoggy air,

only dogs and the grieving blind

know the true scent of Tiananmen

hidden under the shiny tera cotta.

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