Thoughts from the Women’s Quarters by Li Ch’ing-chao

On her face, hibiscus lovely, an incipient smile.
Poised in flight, the jeweled duck’s beak. Incense wreathed
eyes alight, beneath the quilt she suspects
his frivolity hides a more expressive depth;
folds his elegant letter,
places it next her secret heart.
When the moon has gone,
the flowers in shadow,
I will come again.

translated by James Cryer

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