The white snake encounters a scholar

in a vibrant field. A sea of red

engulfing his path. Petals of roses, 

delicate and rare. In the pavilion, 

the scholar tends to them 

with utmost care. 


The scholar would feed the snake, snow rabbits,

one of many in the imperial garden

inside red wood hutch; 

the snake would tear off 

her white scales to give to scholar,

a gesture of gratitude, where devotion prevails. 


One evening, the scholar places the snake, 

like a fragile butterfly, in a glass jar’s gleam. 

An ethereal, glass-bound dream. 

And yet, the snake doesn’t resist, placing trust 

in his hands… An act of faith, 

where loyalty expands. The glass jar– a transient enclosure–

sealing their bond’s delicate state. 


Rice wine cascades: intoxication and bliss. 

Its scent, a testament to the sweet abyss. 

Like secrets never to be shared, 

an enigmatic closure, leaving emotions ensnared. 

Rice wine cascades: intoxication and bliss. 

And the lid 

was tightly 

sealed shut. 


Written by Vanessa Li and edited by Yiyang Cao. Published on 20/8/23. Header image by Felix Yang.

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