A Chinese Man Contemplates Quitting the Communist Party To be a communist party member Or not to be, the question looms o’er me: Is it nobler to accept and suffer Its oppression and never be free, Or t’ take a quiet stand and not submit; To beat war drums, raise the sharp pen of truth And sign my good name, declaring “I quit, This regime is inhuman and uncouth.” But what do I fear, and what holds me back? To lose my job, lose face, or lose my life: Is all I hold dear what it can attack? Is not something in me safe from its knife? Inside, my spirit cannot be held down; I sign and wear some invisible crown. Two Souls Composed for Dad and Yuri on August 1, 2015, their mutual birthday Now as the haze of heat of summer parts, A mellow glow lights up the scenery, As if a vise untightened from our hearts, Released a distant world extraordinary. A place where all our thoughts and feelings meet, And chat upon the grassy plains at dusk, “Oh, I see people there I’d like to greet Those two souls will remember me I trust.” I saunter over in the pleasant air, The lightening bugs now darting to and fro, The lush plants bend lazily without care, I say, “As I recall in truth I know, Two souls, splendid folks, born on the same day— And I’ll squeeze you tight now you’ve crossed my way!” Evan Mantyk is a high school English teacher in Upstate New York. Featured Image: The torture of a Falun Gong practitioner by Zhiping Wang.