As the night grows old, the names that lights leave behind,
one by one, turn gray and grow hairy and muffled.
Yesterday has been dragging along too far to listen for
the faint incantation from the reeds around the ferry.
River runs calm, but it shows its life by lapping the banks
where veiled roots are washed white.
He who has been conjuring the dream demon
is now too excited to be possessed.
Contrast eases the east.
The boatman pillowing on the windowsill of the hut
shouts to the first dawning light: do you need to cross the water?
The fog melts his voice away, and the figure in the midstream
raises one hand to the forehead. He does not know
whether it is summoning birds or beckoning his boat.
August 13-14, 2007