China is made of earth, of sun-dried mud.
In this part of China everything is made from the earth:
the houses, the walls around cities, and villages,
the tombs scattered over the countryside.
Even the people.
There are hills below that appear to be piles of mud
set out to dry in the sun, naked,
without a single tree or bush.
They crowd around the landscape
like the coils of bulging intestines
tossed on the ground outside butchers' shops,
Sometimes we fly so low that we almost touch them.