A man leaves the world
and the streets he lived on
grow a little shorter.
One more window dark
in this city, the figs on his branches
will soften for birds.
If we stand quietly enough evenings
there grows a whole company of us
standing quietly together.
overhead loud grackles are claiming their trees
and the sky which sews and sews, tirelessly sewing,
drops her purple hem.
Each thing in its time, in its place,
it would be nice to think the same about people.
Some people do. They sleep completely,
waking refreshed. Others live in two worlds,
the lost and remembered.
They sleep twice, once for the one who is gone,
once for themselves. They dream thickly,
dream double, they wake from a dream
into another one, they walk the short streets
calling out names, and then they answer.
From Words Under the Words: Selected Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye. Published by Far Corner. Reprinted with permission of the author. Copyright © 1995 Naomi Shihab Nye.
A meeting place between the many times that came before it
These times, the trajectories that brought me to be here now
A passing form
like a flower
the slowest moment of rupture in a single time
in time—body as memory
through time—body as home
with time—body as matter
i am body, yet i do not claim body
i never meant to sever with ink
What is the act of mark making, if not to define?
And what is definition, if not without exclusion?
What is exclusion, if not the cutting of matter?
The abstraction of cartography occurs
when the difference of parts is blurred
and lines are no longer visible
and place is not but visceral.
From To Whitey & the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by May Yang. Reprinted by permission of Anhinga Press.