Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown
~ Robert Pinsky
April 2021
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Plane Song

The plane turns at the edge of a city

(where true darkness begins - it is all
forest below; perhaps a few hikers
are sleeping against the sounds
of owl hoot and foraging bears)

and follows the curve of the river

(the undulating water in half-moon,
a paino keyboard calling to be heard
over the herd of TVs flickering
at the end of suburban cul-de-sacs)

as it rushes towards an airport

(a car's headlight nosing the mist
is as clear as a skylight towards
which a blinded eye looks, stopping,
sometimes at the curl of a rhyme)

where you are supposed to arrive.

(with a mind that is racing away like
that car next to the river, deep
into a wild beyond the hikers' sleep,
with a hunger greater than the bears)

Note: I could have easily titled this "After Tranströmer", as I wrote it falling out the sky last night, for the debt is there.

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After A Year of Marriage

When her eyes crinkle
like crushed crocuses,
the laughter that follows
is the color of saffron.

I will call her Pratiksha
for her gaze moving
across a room towards me,
still pins my voice to the throat

in want that is waiting.
Doesn’t desire complete itself
when the tongue of a candle
feeds on the body of air?

O, coming to the suburbs
of her body is like walking into
a spring meadow from Troy
after the Trojans have set sail.

So I wake and walk into another
April, under trees haloed in bud,
praising the wonder that is a single
sheet over two lovers in bed.

April 17, 2011

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Ghazal: Snow Man in Sakura Park

The mind in winter retreating into itself knows
How green sap is held in the embrace of snow.

Blue-black (of her memorized eyes) is how the grave
Statues gaze at his passing shadow, shaggy with snow.

In their farewell, nothing left really to tell or show
But his x-rayed heart, inked with shards of snow.

What does the dead general dream in his icicled tomb?
Wind off the river etches memory on his brow of snow.

“Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is”:
So is the dark one hidden to Radhika by the snow.

After Wallace Steven's "Snow Man"

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