You travel far to lose yourself
in strangeness. You watch a man
gutting a turtle into the street.
Hills fade in the distance.
I stay in my house by the river.
Aspens are losing their yellow
hair. Today I found a wounded
bird perched in the brittle garden.
You are learning the Chinese way.
One does not speak of such matters.
Evenings and mornings are cold,
sky washed with glorious colors.
Fog lifts from my river at dawn.
Frost embraces every surface.
Birches, drying into autumn,
rattle and bend with the wind.
You eat rice and sip green tea.
You wander crowded alleyways,
carrying with you the pale
alien you now know you are.
I drink Italian coffee with cream.
The moon is chipped in an open sky.
A slow walk on a dark night, beaver
slamming its tail on the water.
Soon snow will come to us both.
You send for warmer clothes.
I tighten the shutters, and sleep
with the dogs.