24 August 2009

Shan Hai Hua Jiewen*

(24 September 1958 - 13 July 1995)

How can it be a glass half full or a
glass half empty when it
isn't even a glass anymore?
We can never sweep all these slivers away
and, years from now,
one shard will work itself into a naked heel
and that wound will echo
the sound of a vessel shattered.

If we can imagine Oak Creek Canyon
as an island north of Cuba,
then the dolphins among
the fruit trees of this orchard
are no more astounding
than blood and tendon traced beneath
the skin grown tight around a wrist.

There are holes in our hearts
the shape and size
of those whom we have lost
and we patch them
with what is left of each other.

Each movement,
north or south, back or forth,
reveals nothing so much
as where we've been.

What we leave behind
is what we also walk toward:
scraps of paper shaped like ourselves.

Twice glimpsed through autumn foliage
and once through thickening glass,

we are waving to each other.

*Literally: Mountain Ocean Flower Kiss, though more accurately translated as the notion of "monumental opposites blossoming toward union"

1 comment:

  1. I really like this, Robert!