What can I give
to Master Sun?
I cut a door in the clouds
to let him in—
what else could I have done?
There is a high wall of glass to my left,
sick and injured people all about.
Though the sky is really opaque
the wall is blinding-bright.
I give these people to the sun,
the light miraculous. It breeds
everything we need.
Wherever we turned things change,
Liu and his cousin at the stone gate,
the view they saw kaleidoscopic-twisted
as they turned about on the crest,
never at rest, never let their minds dwell
in any single cell.
The universe was there in our hands
turned this way and that
fragments rearranged, light throbbing,
motion sickness in the stars—
they monkeyed with it all.
How can you give the sun
anything of value?
I can give it
men and women in wheelchairs,
the adoring looks of infants’ mothers,
a little red-haired girl dashing through the lobby,
the wary looks, the tired faces
bathed in mid-morning dishwater light.
We saw our existence free of thoughts
like a blackboard totally erased,
smears of gray chalk all over its face
blind, the universe is blind
and stops to throw its head back and gasp
like the wounded man a moment ago
free of thought.
To bend at the waist and gaze
at the most wondrous of sights,
the lobby of a great clinic,
the lock of hair over a plump girl’s eye,
gray chairs and loveseats clouds on the shining floor,
this is what the gaze is for,
wondrous and common
are its swerve and plunge—
I could go on,
the trail not a foot wide
my path to the elevator.
My feet take me
over the wide floor
past the doctors in blue scrubs
who wait in line with the others
for coffee, for deliverance
the sun can give.