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from the December 2005 issue

The East with Its Acrid Wind

I came
Silent and sad
I abandoned myself to the earth
My heart was saying Wait
Hurry and find a temple
But I was too late
The shadow of the walls remained
But they themselves had gone

Sometimes I say the east
The east with its acrid wind
Is surely enough for me to understand
For comfort
I packed in my bag
Quatrains and maps
I gathered pebbles
I let my hair down in sorrow

In the midst of that strange crowd
Talking of you
I looked into the deep sleep of mountain lakes
I looked at all the roads in sight
I had no power
To ask about their aching wounds

The birds of god are known
Women know the birds of god
And they ask him
God what have we done to you
Did we break your birds' wings
What harm have we done you

God silent
Silent as my mother
And said to those who were left
Why do you linger here

Ah dear flesh
Why do you linger here
Follow its scent and go
After that acrid wind

For the next poem in this sequence, click here.

Read more from the December 2005 issue
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