Slanting light casts onto a stucco wall the shadows of upwardly zigzagging plum branches. I can see the thinning of branches to the very twig. I have to sift what you say, what she thinks, what he believes is genetic strength, what they agree is inevitable. I have to sift this quirky and lashing stillness of form to see myself, even as I see laid out on a table for Death an assortment of pomegranates and gourds. And what if Death eats a few pomegranate seeds? Does it insure a few years of pungent spring? I see one gourd, yellow from midsection to top and zucchini-green lower down, but already the big orange gourd is gnawed black. I have no idea why the one survives the killing nights. I have to sift what you said, what I felt, what you hoped, what I knew. I have to sift death as the stark light sifts the branches of the plum.
Arthur Sze - 1950-
Comet Hyakutake's tail stretches for 360 million miles— in 1996, we saw Hyakutake through binoculars— the ion tail contains the time we saw bats emerge out of a cavern at dusk— in the cavern, we first heard stalactites dripping— first silence, then reverberating sound— our touch reverberates and makes a blossoming track— a comet's nucleus emits X-rays and leaves tracks— two thousand miles away, you box up books and, in two days, will step through the invisible rays of an airport scanner— we write on invisible pages in an invisible book with invisible ink— in nature's infinite book, we read a few pages— in the sky, we read the ion tracks from the orchard— the apple orchard where blossoms unfold, where we unfold— budding, the child who writes, "the puzzle comes to life"— elated, puzzled, shocked, dismayed, confident, loving: minutes to an hour— a minute, a pinhole lens through which light passes— Comet Hyakutake will not pass earth for another 100,000 years— no matter, ardor is here— and to the writer of fragments, each fragment is a whole—