small stone (115)

Was it unseen crows, crying roughly, who woke me? The rasping fades into the wan sky as I scan the trees for their black shapes, uncertain.


I have wandered like a flood

I have wandered like a flood between the banks, bound without binding, unstitching sleeves and seams until my robe hangs like a curtain, lofting. I have opened the windows of my house and lain on the roof, tapping at the glass. In this way I have woken myself from dreams, the small pebbled noises of my nails urging the breath beyond the specter of the ribs. Undo each inhalation. Unweave the cloth, disrupt the warp and woof, lay them side by side like limbs arranged under an open sky while the heart thuds with a dull yearning ache. Untwist the threads and make a tassle from the fray. I have wandered like a flood all over the shifting delta of the summer, its lines and frames. I have opened the windows of my house.

cold mountain (55)

each on a different shore of the sky

The sky overflows between two shores, banks built up by time and refraction. One shore is warm runny gold, the yolk of a preternaturally hopeful heart. The other shore is an unfolding of lavender and violet and lady-slipper pink, form suggested to abstraction behind the trees. But I wonder, as I often do, about the convex sea of flat light between them. The day is not a shore, nor an island; not an oasis, and not a road between destinations. Just the heat and the high contrast snapping the luxuriant extremes apart, like yanking back curtains and letting them hang to the sides while the light and heat spill over the hours and the land. The day defines a frame. The hours are a canvas, but one fraying at the edges. Did I say the day was a sea? I may have meant the day is a diffusion and a scattering of trajectories, the frustration of opposites into a long and evenly lit moment.

Chinese and English pp. 72-73, here.