Readings in Contemporary Poetry

John Yau

Russian Letter (3)

Dear Painter of Clouds
What proof will there be

after the shopkeeper
sweeps our dust into the gutter

And yet these moments are not
anyone's banner, not something

to be waved in the wind
sent aloft

a kite in the shape of a fish
vigorous sail above a winter beach

where we sit and watch 
and walk

always back to our
separate rooms in the city

The fast full sky is not where we are swimming
if we are swimming at all

Dear Syllables Retrieved from the Rain
Dear Wind Alone with Your Song.

© 1999