You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Self Portrait with Tu Fu

Like quicksand, I’m hungry. Like a bedbug,
I’m focused. Like an earthworm, I’m processing, processing, processing.

“I stand alone with ten thousand sorrows.”
Well, not quite. Lately, a little light has crept in.
There has been a broadening.

Franks and beans and macaroni.
Pudenda and penis. Like two motorboats crashing on a lake,
in deep fog, my husband and I found each other.

Entering phase 3: unlock, unload, recalibrate.
“I am brighter and more rested. I am happy here.”

Thank you, both of us, for waiting and ripening.
Two good melons in the field, lightly bruised.
Thank you, Chinese poet, for what does not pale in translation.

Thank you, firefly, in the darkened garden, for bringing
first light in darkness.

This poem originally ran in the June 9, 2011, issue of the magazine.