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Lakefront #2

The slow entanglements of the other. Detachment and January. Abandoned life.

Remembrance of skin, soft and varnished. Remembrance of scrubbed pine and salted light. Lover. Into. Lover. Out of. All four phases of the moon in the sky.

Come into me ruby wasteland. Come into me soft light, inarticulate breath, string of vowels. In the first light of the moon, your soul scattered. I saw through you. Something fluttered. The shape of it fishlike and breathing.

Beneath this low ceiling of light, she dreams. Your dark windowless body spills out. Steam seals the pages together. I gather myself. When I close my eyes, forgiveness. When I close my eyes, perishable light. And now, the disappearance of the other.

Breathe. Though disentangled, I know this small sutra of yearning. Soft coal, half-dollar of ice, inaudible breath. This loss equals impenetrable light, cradled darkness. Ravensoul, ravensorry.

This is like nuclear death, collapsed sky and half sun. Onion skin and citrus rind. I wish I could look into your soul's cavity---diamond sutra, three turns of a medicine wheel, a sacred chant. And sorrow.

Love, the secret is waking, following the simple path of light. Broken glass and the beautiful gold fish.

Frozen sunlight. Inaudible entanglements of sleep and more breath. Impoverished winter. Another loss, more darkness, impoverished bodhisattva, and this lack of sleep.

You say you don't know what's inside you. You say fire or tangerine or ice. You say go.

Love, the secret is in our own brightness. The secret is in our transmission. The secret is to fill in the gaps.

This poem appears in the 2001 Anthology
View all poems by Emily Lu