Listening to a Chinese Folk Tune on the Internet, I Think of the Old Man Playing an Erhu in San Francisco’s Chinatown the Night I Walked Back to My Hotel from North Beach
Was that you Li Po, playing the erhu
in that alley in Chinatown?
The mournful tones as you
drew the bow across the strings
caused me to stop staggering
down the street. I swayed slowly
as I held onto a lamppost and listened.
Where did you go, Li Po?
You vanished before I could ask
you to share cups of wine
with me and Kerouac at Vesuvio’s.
I followed the strains of your immortal tune
through the streets that night.
I never saw you again,
but in some ways I think
that was the night I embraced the moon.