by Changming Yuan

Sometimes I just wanna retreat
From my position in life, like a soldier
From his in a battlefield. No, not exactly
That would sound like a deserter; rather
I wanna hide myself within the boundary
Of my yellowish skin; better to withdraw
Into the deepest corner in my heart, where I
Don’t have to care whether to sit or stand
Where to look at or put my hands
What to smell, say or hear, a womb-like place
Where I can focus all my attention on my
Inner being, and let my outer self deal with
All the troubles of life, like bills, food, tea
Telephone rings, junk emails, mortgages, etc.
In a word, I wanna find a war-free zone
Where my innerself is absolutely free
Without having to return to the cage
Like the pigeon I really wanna keep

Changming Yuan, eight-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in rural China, holds a PhD in English, and currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan and operates PP Press. Most recently interviewed by [PANK] and World Poetry [CFRO100.5FM], Changming’s poetry has appeared in Asia Literary Review, Best Canadian Poetry (2009;12), BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine, Threepenny Review and 829 other publications across 28 countries.