Arthur Sze

December 16, 2016 Sze Arthur



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 tenth book of poetry, Sight Lines (Copper Canyon, 2019), won the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.