The Chinese word for cactus, 仙人掌, translates as “Palm of the Immortals.”
The cactus grows not from immortal arms,
but vainly from the sands,
thirsting for a surgery:
Oh cut me, cut me open,
let me hear the water gush from me…
Comes a western trader,
peddling wigs as sleek as silver,
whose merchant-eyes pierce cacti
like they were strings of copper cash.
The cactus face goes green,
trembles that it might withstand
the winds that shift the sand.