by Milla Van Der Have
Here I weighed what was lost. Measured it up against
these tiny fragments of time and wondered. What is
the latitude for loneliness and isn’t there a number for
everything under the heavens, not even for their son?
Here I recited things close to the heart. The quick-witted
fox, the morning star. Here I wondered about the simple
grievance of emperor and ox alike. Yet I wondered more
about my idle hands. It’s slipping away. I can tell.
The dragon dance. No more. Obtuse science, revolutionary
riddles of fortune? All gone. Not even an emperor can
exceed what has been laid out for him. There’s a chart
for everything under the heavens, even for those cast out by them.
Here, when evening grew cool, I read the old folks’ tales. Now I
muster up Confucius as one does old courage. Dusty and worn, it
must suffice to stand against the everlasting vastness.
For in my garden it still sings. A lone magpie. Smalltime omen.
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