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.