I found another dead snake on the road today
and thought of you, the way you said Use the commonplace
to escape the commonplace. Your square face
could have framed any painting,
but you chose this – the ashen leaves
of so many cold days,
one purple thistle poking through.
You walked a long way
with pebbles in your shoes,
sat above a mountain pond considering your reflection
until nothing remained.
Here, the foothills are full of coyotes,
and in my room I am surrounded
with the yelps of their longing.
The senses flood; the sunken islands of brackish grass
appear to float in the pond –
I feel the whole world in me,
the unrelenting grief that is each day travelling
so quickly into the next. How closely
you looked at things: Struck by a raindrop, snail closes up.
And then, dear Buson, and then?
You would have kissed me, I think,
on all sides of my face.