after Han Shan
In the night’s firm or
remote or close black, public stars tick light or
tick against the moonlight or
enumerate the night.
The orphan lamp. No, the lonely light.
That’s not right: the isolated lantern of the not yet sunken moon.
Or of the hasn’t deepened moon. Yet to become
grave moon. Not yet but already too much moon
stains the rocks. Rocky cliffs, I mean, crag points.
Well, something dots the rocks.
The robust light of the fat moon, no, the cat satisfied moon
does not obliterate its lustrous jade-like stone. Or, the moon’s light
does not grind down or does not pester the transparencies.
Okay, moonlight cannot polish stone.
Hanging on the youthful or black
day or sky
or, just hanging overhead, is my heart. A heart. Or mind. Yes, the center, or a piece
of my mind is suspended in the sky.
Sophie Grimes has lived and traveled in China as an Oberlin Shansi Fellow, and again as a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Boston University, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 491 Magazine, CRATE, and Spoon River Poetry Review. Second runner-up for the 2011 New Letters Prize for Poetry, she lives in Chicago, where she is completing her first book of poems. (2/2012)