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THE RAVENOUS PRINCE

Translated by Denis Mair

I keep wanting to get myself an ice-shaving machine. I'll crank it and whip out an ocean or two. Chill my wife's favorite mixed fruit into an ice dessert. A beautiful assorted platter. Then my wife and I (she wearing her red quilted jacket) will dig in. To go with ourcocktail tête-à-tête.

We whittle away at the rainbow of ice. Paste it on the wall of ourbellies. Hold an art exhibition for tapeworms. What is left we put in a mascara box. The kind with several shades to prettify people's faces. Then welop off a chunk of sun and chop it up with chunks of night. So we can eat a gloomy sun. Let it do an air-raid drill in our stomach. Have a secretaffair. Give birth to some gloomy little suns. Give birth to a brood ofpiglets. Then I'll mince some moon with some ocean. Get a taste of salted moon. Invite tapeworms to make love on a bed of salted moon. Whistle a tune. Watch the flesh get its baptism. Reduce man and beast to shavings. Chew slowly on them for flavor. My wife says. Why not give some to a saint so he can taste it?

Then with vehemence we chill missiles and satellites in the gelato. Atthis point we sic dogs at their abashed legs. Like crazy we chill dance steps and double takes into the mixture. To watch their embarrassedperformance. We vehemently chill an emperor in his connubial bed. To watch him plow away in embarrassment. He'll think he will be there until wheat harvesttime. Fiercely we chill spring, summer, fall and winter. To watch how eventime can be embarrassed. And watch a death-reporting wristwatch read its ownobituary.

Just like that. We join anger and melancholy and laughter together. And eat them up. Then we go to sleep side by side. Let any of them complain to United Nations if they will, or wherever else. We are children of ice. We are snowmen.

And we know. We know we are eating the sun.

      — Kuan Kuan