“Flames in a Mirror” is a line from a poem by Bei Dao, one of my favourite Chinese poets. His words helped me write this reflection on Tiananmen Square, 25 years after I was a foreign student in Beijing. Read the full story in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
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“I held the chains of the swing and pushed off with my feet.
I leaned back, almost horizontal, arms stretched to grasp the chain. I tipped my head to the sky, hair brushing the ground, pushing so that the sky wheeled and the rising moon rocked back and forth.
The question remains. If I had stayed, would things have been different?”