Tsu Mei Is Early Dead

Nancy Eimers


The towels are damp. I have just had to close the windows,

it’s gotten cold since the sun disappeared

though earlier today I walked in bright sunlight with an open heart.

Lately I can recognize neighbors at a distance

by the way they walk, though their faces are strangers.


Early in the morning the cats wake up and want to go out,

yearning in their indoor voices. If it’s raining too hard

I can’t let them out and I can’t explain.

This will be one of the distances we will never solve.


A poet friend of Ou Yang Hsui is early dead.

A thousand years later, early spring evening.

Our nights are getting shorter again.

Pretty soon it will be morning,

a garbage truck, or a rain so light

it seems ok with not being heard.


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