by Edith Lidia Clare
after Albert Leung
sorrow is real-er, like the moon; all we do in comparison
is as illusory as mirror-glass, or trees: as anything a cloud
of dust can light upon, heap softly over, be rinsed from.
tonight, as this storm twists the trees, as roof & leaf sounds
wrap the house, you propose instead the urgent argument
that this rain, falling, proves your presence in it. because
your body marks a pure blank in the shape of its descent?
or else because you’re chilled, drenched, suffering, & go on
believing anything that hurts is true? i slam the window shut
against you so i’ll never know. & watch your face, moving,
soundless, segmented, through the fire escape’s black bars—
watch it til rain shorts out the nearest streetlight & the wash
of amber over it (the face) spills off at once. my love, i often
bar you out, i often slice you up like this, i’m wondering—if
so it doesn’t show—if you can tell? your pieces seem again
to cohere once you turn to move away: cool water through
a grate: sifted flour, my dust, that other thing i mean to shake:
tonight you must have screamed for me for a long hundred years
but in a hundred years (my love) there’s neither i nor you.
Edith Lidia Clare is a poet, translator, second-year MFA candidate at the Michener Center for Writers, and lifelong Hong Kong permanent resident of Panamanian and Irish heritage. She is a poetry editor for the journal Peripheries, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, Fugue, Bennington Review, and other publications.