It is said, the past
sticks to the present

like glue,
that we are flies

struggling to pull free
It is said, someone

cannot change
the clothes

in which
their soul

was born.
I, however,

would not
go so far

Nor am I Rembrandt,
master of the black

and green darkness,
the hawk’s plumes

as it shrieks
down from the sky

From Borrowed Love Poems by John Yau, published by Penguin Putnam. Copyright © 2002 by John Yau. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.