I’d like to read you some Basho while you sleep in the air,
and until my eyes go rheumy red.
But I think you’ll prefer Neruda or Rumi,
Basho is like the rain that is fleeting
like that mono no aware.
“I like to wash,
the dust of this world
in the droplets of dew.” I would argue.
But you might respond:
“Come, come, whoever you are.
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.”
And like this we might spar,
like lovers under the sheets,
now giving, now taking,
of love like fire
If “I am wind, you are fire”
beating and beating.
Now you are far away,
beyond where even the heron can fly,
where I am night, you are day,
where I am tonight, you are tomorrow,
forget me not lover,
for each time I slip between dreams,
it is your face I glimpse in the waning of the moon.
This longing will not survive
the three months it needs,
Slowly it will turn,
from ache to hurt, from hurt to wound,
until you take Neruda and say,
“so close that your eyes close when I fall asleep”
so close that when you die, my heart stops beating.
Now and then, I pretend,
as if you were lying next to me,
And I, in summer, with my Basho:
“Will you turn toward me?
I am lonely too,
This autumn evening.”