Saturday, February 2, 2008
In the Empty Room of Perfection
Opened my eyes to the amulets
Green leaves, falling miracles,
Falling, one by one,
On the street. In Japan we bought
White porcelain tipped into palm-eyes
And icicles, pots shaped like
Peach stones and glazed in sky blue.
We touched the rims of the world's glaze
But arrived without anything. Then
You gave me my own room without old things,
Without decorations, without paintings
That hang on the walls
Only to become new walls themselves, without
Shapes that interfere
With what I must be.
My dreams were unshaped and unpainted. I
Lived with the fantasy of the sea -- shaped
Always on the verge of words. You--
Looked for emptiness the way lovers seek sleep,
And seeds of your own beginnings. How easy
For us to change into fire-birds, fly
Past history, oceans, striking against the sky
With our own new wings. Now--
Shall we return where we came from?
You be the brush that strikes.
And, burning inside, still burning, I'll
Live as the flaming kiln that shapes the pot.
-- Sandra Hochman, "Love Letters from Asia," Viking, 1968
(for poetry day)