First Ride Home

I was sixteen when the truck broke down 

and parked despondently inside a mountain.

 

It was early winter.

I felt I was tossed into a vortex when the truck stopped with a screeching sound.

The headlamp was still on, like desperate eyes looking hard into a shroud 

of darkness and confused.

No stars, absolutely no stars;

They had fallen into the gaping mouth of the mountain,

waiting to be fished out by the invisible hands of a late morning.

Terrifying silence came, seeping in through the windshield.

It forced into my lungs and grabbed my heart, the stench of the night air.

I gasped.

 

The driver was fidgety, trying to call someone, 

No signal, he said and discarded the thought of rescue.

He was grumbling something unclear while he killed the engine.

His words lacerated the night.

 

I took the sleeping bag he gave me and crawled in, knowing

home was still far, far away…

Or in a dream.

 

A Fateful Night

I drink tonight, to the city that weeps.

A toast it shall be,

from the lips of a man who loves truly

the vast lands of China.

— she deserves better;

But it doesn’t matter now, does it?

Salvation comes to those who need it not.

 

An old woman by the garbage dump—

A black dog with a severed tail— 

Everyone is drifting into the endless night.

It comes early now.

The Line He Draws

for Tomas Transtroemer

The line he draws on his notebook 

stretches out, endlessly, 

with the sound of an axe cutting the air, 

and continues its silent judgement, where 

the world is halved.

I’m on one side;

My deeds the other, falling soundlessly;

A rebuke— 

I cast my thought over 

into the realm of inanity.

It bounces like a morning dew 

on lifeless leaves.

Air is thinner there 

than a breath.

 

I grab hold of the line —the edge of existence, 

saved by an old hypothesis 

of death.

 

 

Eyes Of A Man

I fish out from your eyes of dark sea 

the rising new moon

and paint it into a golden sun.

For when you look at me, for a second, 

my body unfurls like a dahlia in the late August.

Your touch will bring fruition,

Yes, your touch— 

 

I write you into my poems but a poet is a liar.

For I’m just a stranger in a cafe falling into your stories, where

no spring will come and no winter’s ceremony 

will grace a silent character like me, while 

your eyes flow and dwell at no places.

 

My somber heart searches for you nonetheless,

and my body, like a dahlia…

I Must Praise Your Body

I must praise your body; 

It’s like the earth’s dark soil

spoiled by the tropical sun, redolent of harvest,

I bury my eager hands into your fertility,

and bring out the rich greenery.

 

I drink from your lips the nectar of life; spring

is in your saffron-colored perianth.

My body is burning,

from my loins to my eyes,

the battlefield of virtue and sin.

 

I’m a proud man, broken by you.

The vengeance of love bends me;

The pain of love crushes me;

And forgetfulness saves me.