His body so close I hear the cicada hum of his cells, and he slips away.
End of October, days recede quickly into night. Leaves fall in slow motion.
The almanac tells them when the moon passes into ghost weather.
There was no sense in brushing off or any other civilized thing.
For my vacation last summer, I visited the Bateer family in Xiwuqi.
It’s so delicate, the light. And there’s so little of it. The dark is huge.
My grandfather committed my grandmother to a mental asylum.
We caress the rough. Sensuous, delectable, and yet sorrowful.
I want to focus on bears. On knowing them, and on what they need.
Passions played among the orchids and through cherish and reveal.
The hawk moves out of the way to let a little hot package of breath rise up.
The survival of our world depends upon the cultivation of better language.
Tongue, eye, nose—which has the shortest route to the brain, heart?
I want to remember us this way—sun streaming through the window.
She can go to Bible study every Sunday and swear she’s still not convinced.
All over the planet people try to end pain: striptease, bee stings.
I grabbed him by the face and told him life only comes to a person once.
She favoured me with an even more viciously scornful “Don’t care!”
I have, in the long solitude of my body, asked for something else.
How much simpler and more satisfying was the company of men.
My bike, my skinny body, my pent breath was thrown to the grass.
After breakfast I set out to see what my wild neighbors have been up to.
There was something in her voice, some awful, enduring fire.
Since I am in my seventies, it is now or never, and I know it.
All night the insects’ grinding jaws chewed through the darkness.
I want to say hold these harp strings steady atop the tallest summit.
I never knew that the song of the first summer cicadas could ease my hips
Crows rasp from branches, scatter debris across unfinished plots.
Always I obliged the urban tree, any speechless unblessed nature.
Death is a lack, I suppose, and love more so. But I will not falter.