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 eleventh book of poetry, The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems (Copper Canyon, 2021)
received a 2024 National Book Foundation Science + Literature Award. His new book, The Silk Dragon II: Translations
of Chinese Poetry
, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon in April.