The Doe (after Arthur Sze)

The river was rosy at dawn.
I saw a doe, stopped
in the water.

And when the doe walked, modest waves
flowed from behind her.  I was
a statue then.  And sensed

the doe hesitate.  And at dusk, dozing,
the river was amber in the
June mist.

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The Tailor

A tailor labors by candlelight,
gold rimmed glasses slipping
down his rosy nose. Outside,
wet snow bleeds from burnt sky.

Threadbare fingers, frail but firm,
feel fat folds of velvet while
discolored eyes glance at the mantle,
resenting those two brass hands,
those tyrannical sentries of old,
that won’t let him sleep.

The Curtain Conquers

Like an eggshell scrim floating in
front of a leading lady lacquered
in lace, time has blinded her eyes,
shielding hopes of who she might
become from two weathered
apatite irises that shine no more.

Other women, tenacious women,
would rip that flimsy facade from
the rafters, revealing the long
hidden ingenue in all her glory.

But for her, the curtain conquers.

Marrow and Memoirs

You don’t know who you are until
everyone leaves you.

Staring for hours at a wall of sand,
deciding what is light and what is
shadow, brings everything into focus
and who you were before you donned
the masks that have made your life,
emerges between the hours of restiveness
and reason.

Hunger will shape one’s days in ways
that can humble even the most jaded
and faded of homo sapiens; eyes that
fumbled only for tomorrow begin to
hunt thirstily for that which will sustain
marrow and memoirs for ages to come.

You don’t know who you are until
everyone leaves you.

metamorphosis

Slipping off the costume once again,
you become a sweet creature of dreams.

The common body, buried beneath
a flimsy gauze of naught, is shared with
no one save the Devil.

Slipping off the costume once again,
you become a hellion of horrors.

What is revealed?
The darkest parts that have no shame.
What is concealed?
The golden parts that have no aim.