Utter Loneliness

"On the seventh day of the Seventh-month, in the Palace of Long Life,
We told each other secretly in the quiet midnight world
That we wished to fly in heaven, two birds with the wings of one,
And to grow together on the earth, two branches of one tree.
Earth endures, heaven endures; some time both shall end,
While this unending sorrow goes on and on for ever."
-  Bai Juyi - A Song of Unending Sorrow - 300 Tang Poems

* * * *

The first day they met he gave her the poems
he'd carried all the way from China, a young boy
with a dream and 300 poems a thousand years old

...on the seventh day of the seventh month...

How could she not fall in love with him?

And his sculpture... carved with fire,
the strong, bronze back now frozen,
arms raised in wild and sensual supplication.

Were they his arms reaching for her?

He'd kept it hidden for twenty years,
waiting for someone, the right woman to give it to
And he'd told her, "I knew it was meant for you."

How could she not fall in love with him?

Each night before she sleeps
she reads a poem and traces her fingertips down
the cold beauty of that graceful spine

Wish he were here
wish this was his back
curving around me
curving around me in my bed...
whispering the poems of his ancestors

She knits her loneliness into scarves,
soft pink wools like clouds of candy cotton,
rough mountain wools that smell of heather and winter solitude.
Years from now, she'll wrap them round her neck to remember
how he once kissed her.

Didn't she write a poem about it?

and this is her dream:
they meet when they are young,
they fall in love,
they fall in love and marry,
they fall in love and marry and have ten children,
they fall in love and marry and have ten children and grow old together,
they grow old and blind and deaf, and still in love, they fall into the final sleep together
and their children's children's children will remember their love for a thousand years.

It's just a dream.
He will have children
but not hers.
She'll die alone,
she wrote that poem, too,
thirty years ago.

karma, karma, karma
stealing heaven

she writes:
what does this world mean to me without you?

utter loneliness

© 2007 J.L.Stanley
labyrinth