Gucci Milk

Gucci milk laced with honey, captured on DVD. The long, slow passion milk of deferral and delay. Cargoes sweating in holds. Sold at small card tables on the streets of Shanghai, alongside orange quick-call phones and bolts. Batteries and pin-head chips that store our deep-freeze desires, our ceiling fan dreams. Milk girl, tall lady. Hair just long enough to tuck behind your ears. The crescent moon, Ali’s croissant. The wife who was glad when her husband broke the two-headed sculpture given to them as a gift. The shards of their co-joined bodies. Red paint chips the same colour as your nail polish. Scouring markets and grim streets for a replacement. A thousand and one miniature knights. I would have been happy to take the blame. Our female taxi driver, that Wuhan song stuck in my mind for days, then gone. The invisible sounds of banned trumpets. The sax solo, then the clearing of the throat. Harmony. Even the impatient horns become background noises or triggers for the blind at intersections. The silence of your sleep. The Gucci bags, the Rolex ladies. The international charms trade. Please visit my art gallery. Pop-culture Maos abound, except at the auctions. Had they demolished the artist’s colony by that stage? I don’t remember. Something about stadiums and echo walls, words I misheard as Chinese. Gucci. Gucci girl: I’m not selling any fake DVDs. Cheapest prices in the PRC. Come to a real tea ceremony. Come & drink Gucci milk & bees with me. Eat bananas straight from the tree, Gucci milk drawn from a silver sea. The West Lake a tranquil bath in which to ease your tired feet. The steep arches of bridges made of white cheese. Spirals in the harvest prayers, concentric marble rings. Your hands as you drink white spit. Aloe shards in yoghurt. Gucci milk. At a small roadside table, old men watch a miniature screen, on which is playing a DVD of a tall girl carrying a Gucci bag, looking at her watch. Set to Lhasa time, or even Lassi time, inside the labyrinthine mansions, their mirrored rooms and novelty toy alcoves. The sound of a breathing cat inside my ear. One Gucci foot sticking out. Hello, hello, hello …

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