cold mountain (22)

Spring again. The ancient and the new stitching their hands together, like the binding of a book. The pages hold a story in verse. Musa, mihi causas memora, how last year became this year. All winter I prayed with the windows closed, the shutters fastened, breath hanging in the subzero interior air. Now the air warms and quickens, and my prayers unfurl with it. All around the balcony before dawn, invoking the old gods, and afterward I stand to watch the still-sleeping city. Spring means an end to the bitter cold dark that drove me indoors for months. Even the bell sounds different, deeper, not so sharp, and each strike to the bronze sets her resonating. Write that into the book of spring, how even the bells begin to breath again, how I stand chanting in a sing-song under the park’s lamplight, how I joyously welcome the season as one who is learning how few remain can.

Chinese and English pp. 50-51, here.


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