A Free Language in the Ghost
Yan Ruan

Long nights neverending night neverending

               –– Wang Yin

we followed the poet, explorer
of Chinese
where a noun
contains none
or many nouns, many

hidden paths, sentences
without subjects
like proud, subject-
less emperor
or a flowerless

beheaded branch
a scissor in a pale hand
of the poet, the

how a free language can
belong to rule-
ridden people, tyrants

with black hair. we
sweaty flower branches,
                & over-pruned.
Yan Ruan is a Brooklyn-based writer and artist. She was born and raised in Beijing, China, and earned her PhD in Social Psychology at University of Rochester.

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