top of page

Hot And

Sour Soup


Maybe we should walk through the world again, you and I,

With our minds swept clean this time.

Everything would mean something new.

Stones would be kings for example

And power would be the curious shape

Pollen takes on the tip of your nose

When you lean down to smell a lily.


The names of birds and most wild creatures

Would remain the same

But flying would no longer require wings.

Birdsong would double as the name

For that bubbling liquid sound children make

When learning to speak.


In this surprising new world

Eggs would turn into omelets without breaking

Because the word breaking

Would automatically become obsolete.

Why bother with words that hurt the heart?


Open sesame would now become

The term for immigration

And the word borders

Would be too absurd to pronounce,

A shibboleth composed entirely of suffering and nonsense.


In this newly minted grammar of perpetual delight

The words God, Lord and Divine

Would finally and forever lie

Beyond all human understanding.

Each of these great and dangerous words

Would turn into a fiery canticle of peace

To be spoken or sung in every tongue.

Consequently, the human race would never be the same.
No one would ever die again for God

And countries as we know them

Would simply cease to exist.

Babel would now become the best place on the planet 

For buying fresh tomatoes

And Byzantium would turn into the perfect location

For senior citizens in search of liveliness.


Laughter would remain laughter of course

And fun remain fun. Why bother to change

What can never be improved?

Other words in this category might include

Figs, wine, butter, honey, kisses, lover,

Brother, sister, porcupine and sweet.


Imagine this: our minds swept free of ancient grief.

How would that be? I’d like to think that in this mysterious
And vivid universe of brand new meanings

Physical bliss would last forever

Unless you wanted it to stop so you could take a nap.

Cruelty would mean the sound

Of someone plump and happy

Sipping hot and sour soup

In a Chinese restaurant

On a rainy day in May.  

May would be a magical word meaning: far away from pain.

Pain would mean the past.

bottom of page