We forget our other lives
Mostly. All I can tell you, for instance,
Is there was a moment when
I fell in love with you here,
In this other life.
On roots of the Thompson tree
Where I hung the food barrel,
Camouflaged, I suppose, sky-blue,
Your daughter’s rainbow-print boots.
The two dead trees standing in the grass were
I wish you would look away now and take in
the yellow field.
I cannot bear to take down
the tent, damp with leafs:
that night I brought you north,
I watched you lightly unzip the door.
(After Yuan Chen)
You hoped for beauty.
The sun ripening the shore by the forest,
terse hollows of darkness behind.
Inference of abeyance and shelter.
But it will rain today, the curtain of sadness
closing without word.
You had no intention of living this way,
the failed transcendence, or the weather
patterns beholding despair.
Your hand rubs the back of your skull,
behind at the neck, a composition either
of erasure or revelation.
What did you lose, or do you always
Ribs hold the sky of the tumblehome
Left unturned-over, upturned
Plastic full of rain.
Narrow coast inside canoe
I tip it out but I tip in
Your laugh floats.
I’m half-emptied me
In half-full you.