Eclipse of the Moon
and you'd agree." And it was true, I would have.
I would have known exactly what he meant.
Then all I knew was that his taunt was true.
Transformations are real and they take time.
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I want to talk to you of work —
a board creaks, and somewhere you call my name
rosy with resentment and undue shame —
I want to talk about the little spark
that perhaps is only memory, how you dress,
fire, the dust that cools, an ancient track
followed straight. The silver light comes back
each morning, but to me undue distress
rots my soul at the place where I'm fighting
cloudbursts that have no center. I return
to the echo, the whisper, the step early in the morning.
Memory can make nothing of habitual warning
that says, We sleep, sleep with nothing to learn —
but I'd talk of labor all day till the katydids sing
and the sun goes over the hill where it should rest
except that in China the day is at its best
walking in labor the streets of wide Peking
where all show their colors and share their labor,
fluttering in the wind like a glaring banner
under night's sun attempt a trial of that manner
we use, we sleepers: the look, the tear, the smile.
and now we unwittingly follow that dark design
calling the ruins, relics, and twist a hair
to wear about our throats like an amulet there
to shake off evil so we will not complain.
I want to talk of construction, of planning and
East and West, and all the forgotten towers
which eons before our birth housed demi-powers
that said, You shall be trapped, trapped unwilling
in the ruins of our works and love, the board
whispering at morning too quietly to wake you