The Poetical Quotidian
MEKONG SONNET 2
from Outloud (2002)
People pan this river's gravel shores for
Gold. Boys, brown along the banked white sand are
Glistening flashes of flesh, eeling or
Splashing silver arcs across a sand bar.
The evening scatters careless gold on brown
Depths: unfathomable, read in ripples.
August's hidden rocks are dry, water-marked.
April's low-water root-reflected tree,
Its gravel-grasp slipping, claws brown roots down
Into dark: the Mekong drowns its cripples.
Raw hands ache to bring bright specks out of that dark.
They strive in vain for what they cannot see:
In my camera's entrails the sun's warm gold
Lies locked. Their moon's cruel stare is bright and cold.
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