A fantasy pursues me, single, clear, When your white arms pull my body Into the curve of yours: dark hair twists, Eyes narrowed in the darkness, You are of the Mongol Horde, Slicing across my land, staining it red With the blood of my kinsmen; And I, spared in the chaos, Tremble as you enter my room, Feel fire inflame my breasts As you remove my jade silk robes; They fall to the floor, our bodies meet upon them: My ancient culture is crushed by your savagery. Yet I survive: you have changed me; Our passion has melted the cold sword of war; Between us a cord stretches, linking our fates: Its color is yellow gold, a balance of our natures; Its fabric is woven of the rays of the sun. In sleep, a white form stretches away, An arm thrust across — a diagonal ridge Looms like Appalachians rising under my quilt; You appeared white last night, Glowing, the full moon shone blue In reflection through the window, And the spare words of your poems Your gentle hands painted on my body, Eyes probing to articulate the stillness, The flow of grace that slowly Balances breath with bone; Still you reach away, a frozen gesture Of your mind’s purity, abstract notions That hurl you above the world of sensuality, Yet dangle your body between the yin And the yang as you sleep, diagonal. A black fork rakes the deep blue sky; The stars blow, slow stark movement, Stalking across the flattened dome, Boldly chasing a pure cold god Of steel ideals and icy eyes: Even the full moon whitewashes The paths that the planets Endlessly, slowly pursue through the night. Ethereal, your soul is of the grey mist: Glimpses of silver flash by, Vanishing even as their light Is diffused, suffusing the sky With a strange electric glow; Dashing down into the blackness As a streak of lightning, blue-white, Jagged — its fork slices a tree in two, A bare streak, blackened, begins The pine tree’s slow death. But that energy is not responsible: Random, the blindness of the clouds Senses no blame — and the water Is poured down in sheets and sprays, Filling the pores of earth’s broken skin, Swelling the rivers, seeping, urging The inexorable growth of plants — And the furious grey of the sky abates.