We all watched the clips,
That revealed to us what we already knew
Intuitively. I sat there alone
In my apartment in Yinchuan,
It was hot in Ningxia, that dry desert heat.
I remember the tea shop owner saying about a year later, now in Sichuan,
That he must be a thorn in Obama’s side.
Luckily by then he was already safe in Russia.
A dark waterfront atmosphere
In the muggy river air
Big glistening green leaves in the glass mug.
Like in a tea shop in Mandalay, Myanmar,
I would hear,
Often the politically dissident would be afraid to speak up
For fear there were present secret informant ears.
Who knew that ear could be as giant,
Who knew of its ubiquity
As the national security apparatus
Of the United States.
You were sitting in your posh coffee shops
Thinking you were free.
You were up your own ass about the concept of Liberty
Without realizing it means nothing if not put into practice.
You were thinking you knew it all in the palm of your hand.
I remember watching the clips on a website that wasn’t banned in China.
And I remember thinking,
Like John Nada says in They Live.
“Figures it’d be something like this.”