Arthur Sze

Talisman
May 25, 2017 Sze Arthur

Talisman

 

Quetzal: you write
the word on a sheet of paper
then erase it;

each word, a talisman,
leaves a track: a magpie
struts across a portal

and vanishes from sight;
when you bite into sea urchin,
ocean currents burst

in your mouth; and when
you turn, gaze at the white shutters
to the house,

up the canyon, a rainbow
arcs into clouds;
expectancies, fears, yearnings—

hardly bits of colored glass
revolving in a kaleidoscope:
mist rising from a hot spring

along a river; suddenly
you are walking toward Trinity Site
looking for glass

and counting minutes
of exposure under the sun;
suddenly small things ignite.


Arthur Szes most recent collection of poetry is The Gingko Light. His many awards include an American Book Award, a Lannan Literary Award and the Western States Book Award for Translation. He recently was named Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.