Another Way with Wang Wei

No emptiness around here: across the street

     a backhoe clanking, beeping, the next-door neighbor’s

seven dogs at it again, shrill yaps mingled

     with baritone yowlings, 747s thundering overhead, and

you’re upstairs in your study, too far for me

     to hear your voice, but later, tonight, you’ll come down

and speak in your gentle tenor, and all

     other sounds will fade—as far as Wang Wei’s mountain.

Copyright © 2018 Wendy Barker. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2018.