Joseph In The Afternoon

We don't know what will happen, ever
it didn't start with you and anyway
I'm used to that by now; we traverse
a satin robe that desire shows through.

The sheer splendor of our mountain with its
nubby rocks and bamboo vipers
lips like fish under water open and close
the fissure of risk, our lithe companion.
Fire tempers steel, tempers steal reason

le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait pas.

If we had a child
she'd be born reading
write herself across the backcloth of
our diverse impressions
live in the pliant spaces between them
and believe only herself.

In this forest of disease and need
in this rutty thicket of an alien
language like stones
toppling down a black hill toward us
we can't talk.

Echoes invade our room, and
fade with how you say, today
"Let's just lie here and listen to
the rain for a little while."

Ellen Jane Sander
May 2003 Xiamen, PR China

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