In Singapore, in the airport,
a darkness was ripped from my eyes.
In the women's restroom, one compartment stood open.
A woman knelt there, washing something
in the white bowl.
Disgust argued in my stomach...
A poem should always have birds in it...
Rivers are pleasant, and of course trees...
A person wants to stand in a happy place, in a poem.
When the woman turned I could not answer her face.
Her beauty and her embarrassment struggled together, and
neither could win...
Yes, a person wants to stand in a happy place, in a poem.
But first we must watch her as shares down at her labor,
which is dull enough...
She does not work slowly , nor quickly, but like a river.
Her dark hair is like the wing of a bird.
I don't doubt for a moment that she loves her life
And I want her to rise up from the crust and the slop
and fly down to the river.
This probably won't happen.
But maybe it will.
If the world were only pain and logic, who would want it?
Of course, it isn't.
Neither do I mean anything miraculous, but only
the light that can shine out of a life. I mean
the way she unfolded and refolded the blue cloth,
the way her smile was only for my sake: I mean
the way this poem is filled with trees, and birds.