Moon and Oatgrass by Marilyn Chin

The moon is not over the water,
as you would have it,
but one with it, and the house
is on the precipice
overlooking a green meadow.
And you — an eye and not an I —
are walking through it.

And whether you live here
or are visiting
in your long pilgrimage —
is my prerogative.
Whether she is your acolyte,
the Pearl Concubine,
or a mere beggarwoman —
is also my invention.

Only I know where
terrace ends and house begins,
whether the country is lost,
whether rivers and mountains
will continue. And finally,

after the inkstone is dry,
we shall be together
high in a corner bedroom
with a pale view of hills.
Without pleasure or transcendence
we penetrate this landscape.

And what is this landscape?
The moon in oatgrass,
the oatgrass moon.
A woman pacing
the linoleum floor,
contemplating a poem.
A man dissolving
into the dailiness of rain.

and the red eye of morning.

-Marilyn Chin

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