Before tracking pods of killer whales in and out
of Prince William Sound, she read a poem

on deck to start each day. In solstice light,
a moose lumbers across her driveway; I mark

orange and purple sea stars exposed at low tide,
the entrance to an octopus den. Astronomers

have observed two black holes colliding;
and, though the waves support relativity,

we need no equation to feel the sprang of space
and time. A marine biologist gives everything

away, weaves her coffin out of alder branches,
lines it with leaves; a carpenter saws kiln-

dried planks to refurbish a porch; I peruse
the tips of honeycrisp apples we planted

last fall, and, though no blossoming appears,
the air is rife with it; the underground

stirs, and I can only describe it by saying
invisible deer move through an orchard in bloom.




Arthur Sze’s latest books of poetry are Compass Rose (Copper Canyon, 2014) and a Chinese/English selected poems, Pig’s Heaven Inn (Beijing: Intellectual Property Publishing House, 2014). A professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts, as well as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, he lives in Santa Fe, NM.


Issue #66 January 2017
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