Frank O'Hara

(27 March 1926 – 25 July 1966 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Chinamen Jump


At night Chinamen jump
on Asia with a thump
while in our willful way
we, in secret, play

affectionate games and bruise
our knees like China's shoes.

The birds push apples through
grass the moon turns blue,

these apples roll beneath
our buttocks like a heath

full of Chinese thrushes
flushed from China's bushes.

As we love at night
birds sing out of sight,

Chinese rhythms beat
through us in our heat,

the apples and the birds
move us like soft words,

we couple in the grace
of that mysterious race.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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