Things by Their Name . . .
And if they do not have one?
What is the name of this sadness
you get from the three ascending notes
of The Death of Ase, in this music?
Careful, it is not called The Sadness.
You will have to go the long way
to name it
because it does not exist outside the notes
the notes are not it.
The last sun did not say to him: I am the last sun.
Nothing prepared him.
The water slid over his body and he didn't know
this was the way that the water
said: goodbye. He did not know.
No one told him anything.
When night came, it came to stay.
And he never knew.
American Poetry Review January/February 2014
Copyright © 2013 by Circe Maia
Translation copyright © 2013 by Jesse Lee Kercheval
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission